‘Facts warrant a consequence,’ says prosecutor regarding trucker’s criminal case.

September 1, 2016
Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon

Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon

#OceanaCountyNews #US31Crash

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — “We believe the facts warrant a consequence,” said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon after a 25-year-old Ludington trucker was charged with a misdemeanor for rear-ending a family of five and another motorist on US 31 near Stony Lake Road last July.

Jonathon William Ashley has been arrested and charged with “violation of motor vehicle code causing serious bodily impairment,” which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail.

“It is illegal to commit a moving violation that thereafter causes substantial injury or death,” Bizon said. “We believe there is evidence to support he committed a moving violation that caused the accident.”

The statute went into effect in April of 2012, he said, and the statute for negligent homicide has been U.S. 31 crash 2eliminated.

The young boy who was critically injured in the semi/two-car crash, July 5, on US 31 near Stony Lake Road in Shelby Township has suffered a “catastrophic brain injury and will likely need care and follow-up for the rest of his life,” said Oceana County Sheriff’s Lt. Craig Mast, who spoke with the boy’s father, Benjamin Weston.

Ashley rear-ended two vehicles, one of which was transporting the Wesley family, in heavy southbound traffic near New Era.

Ashley was driving a 2016 Freightliner owned by Apache Logistics of Holland. The accident scene backed up traffic for hours as vacationers were heading back south after the Fourth of July weekend.

Connor Weston was 4 years old at the time of the crash and has since turned 5. He was riding in a 2000 Subaru Outback driven by his father. Also in the car were his mother, Michelle Weston, 36, and brothers, Dylan, 7, and Logan, 10. The family was traveling between destinations while on summer vacation.

The semi also struck a 2016 Mazda driven by Jerrine Marie Forrest, 34, of Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

Ashley’s bond was set at $5,000/10 percent.

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