Flint man charged in deadly drunk driving crash as a repeat offender

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GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) - (07/31/19) - A Flint man is now facing six charges including manslaughter after police say he caused a deadly accident while drunk.

The afternoon of July 18, three cars collided into a building near Saginaw Street and East Ruth Avenue.

Court records say the crash resulted in the death of 46-year-old Traci Nawatha.

Investigators say the Flint man responsible for causing the accident was intoxicated while driving and it wasn't the first time.

According to the warrant sworn out July 31, the man was previously convicted of operating while intoxicated in May 2011 and operating impaired in May 2002 making this newest charge a third offense and a felony.

Genesee Prosecutor David Leyton said this time, the man's blood alcohol level was .14, well above the legal limit. And, he said, the man was speeding, driving 17 over the speed limit in a 25-mile-per-hour zone, on a suspended license.

Leyton said the crash happened because he ran a stop sign.

6 Counts:
- Homicide: Manslaughter with a Motor Vehicle
- Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death
- Reckless Driving Causing Death
- Operating on a Suspended, Revoked, Denied License Causing Death
- Operating While Intoxicated, Third Offense
- Unlawful Driving Away

You may recall the driver is the uncle of an 18-year-old JaJuan Demps Jr. who was shot and killed the night before the accident on July 17.

Monikia Releford, the boy's mother (his sister), tells ABC12 he had also just learned of an unrelated accident involving their parents (the boy's grandparents) that killed his own mother and critically injured his father. Releford says the pain of losing two family members was too hard for him and he made a bad decision that now has another family grieving a loss as well.

"I recognize that these are very unusual circumstances with respect to all that happened beyond this particular crime; but driving drunk and speeding and running stop signs, is always unacceptable. There is no sympathy exception in the law," Leyton said. "So we really can't take that into account."

An arraignment is in the works, we will release the man's name as soon as he faces a judge.

To learn more about the events leading up to this case, click on the link provided with this article.

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