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Mich. driver charged in crash that injured official

A Michigan man who police say caused an accident that left three people, including a local official, injured faces three misdemeanor charges in connection with the crash.

The accident occurred Aug. 10 when the driver, age 31, of Royal Oak, Michigan, drove through an intersection controlled by a flashing yellow light, police said. He struck the car carrying the executive of Oakland County, Michigan, and his driver, police said. That car had entered the intersection with a green light.

The Royal Oak man was arraigned in 52-3 District Court in Rochester Hills and pleaded not guilty to three counts of a moving violation that resulted in serious impairment of a bodily function. If convicted, he faces as much as 93 days in jail.

The man, who works for a national radio company, was released on a $50,000 bond and is due back in court on Sept. 25. He also will need to surrender his driver's license and will face an additional ticket for not wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident. Neither the county executive nor his driver had their seat belts on at the time of the accident and could be ticketed when their conditions improve, police said.

The county executive suffered significant orthopedic injuries as he was taken to McLaren-Oakland Hospital in Pontiac. Already, he has undergone three surgical procedures. His driver was in serious condition at Detroit Receiving Hospital. A passenger in the car driven by the Royal Oak man also sustained unspecified injuries.

The accident occurred at the intersection of East Walton Boulevard and North Opdyke Road in Auburn Hills. The driver may want to question in court whether that intersection has too much traffic to not be controlled by a four-way light signal. A flashing yellow signal, indicating for the driver to proceed when safe, might be unsatisfactory to control this intersection.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Driver in crash that injured L. Brooks Patterson arraigned on misdemeanor charges," Ann Zaniewski, Aug. 22, 2012

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