Thursday, March 12, 2020

Probe into coach’s auto crash is reopened by sheriff

The Feb. 8 rollover car crash involving a Wayne Memorial High School wrestling coach is being investigated by the Livingston County Sheriff's Department following reports that there were passengers in the vehicle not previously identified to investigators.
Reports indicate that there were three members of the wrestling team in the vehicle driven by the coach which crashed near the Howell exit from I-96. Initial reports indicated that the driver lost control of the vehicle on the exit curve at about 8:18 a.m. traveling at more than 70 m.p.h. and the roadway was snow covered. The vehicle entered the area between the highway and the exit ramp and rolled over, trapping the three teens inside, according to reports from witnesses.
The students were subsequently picked up from the wreck and taken to the wrestling conference tournament and competed in their matches without any medical examination or treatment. Reportedly, the teens were cautioned not to speak to anyone about the accident.

The team members kept silent, until one of them displayed symptoms of a concussion, diagnosed by an athletic trainer at the high school. When the student's parents were notified, the teen explained what had happened, confirmed by the other two boys in the vehicle.
The police report of the crash report lists a single vehicle and a single driver involved in the accident and does not list occupants in the vehicle,
“We have since learned there were (allegedly) other occupants in the vehicle, so that has reopened the investigation,” Sheriff Mike Murphy wrote in an email. “Once the investigation is completed it will be sent to the Livingston County Prosecutor's office for review for possible charges, so it would be inappropriate for me to comment any further.”
According to the Livingston County prosecutor's office, a complaint warrant would be issued if a falsified police report were discovered and charges could be filed in the incident.
The Wayne-Westland Community Schools issued no further information other than the letter sent to parents from high school principal James Anderson. “We are aware that there have been media reports on this situation. While we cannot share specifics that may impact the privacy of any of the individuals involved, if you have questions, please feel free to contact me via email at or by phone at (734) 419-2200.”