Man Charged With Drunk Driving In Hall Road Crash That Killed His Son

WWJ News
December 09, 2019 - 1:30 pm
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CLINTON TWP. (WWJ) - A  32-year-old man is accused of driving drunk, causing a Clinton Township crash that killed his young son

“The loss of a child is perhaps the most painful occurrence a parent can experience,” said Prosecutor Eric Smith, announcing the case against Arturo Molina Mendez of Sodus, New York, on Monday. “However, the grief this father is dealing with, does not diminish his responsibility in this case.”

According to investigators, Mendez was speeding in a Kia Optima along the shoulder of eastbound Hall Road in Clinton Township just after midnight Sunday, continuing into the right turn lane approaching Heydenreich Road. As he went through the intersection, the car hit the curb and went slightly airborne before hitting a utility pole.

Police arrived on the scene to find Mendez's 7-year-old son in the backseat "not breathing and showed no signs of life."  The boy was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 12:40 a.m. 

According to Smith, Mendez admitted that he'd been drinking alcohol at a friend’s house prior to the crash. In addition, Smith notes that a witness told police he didn't see brake lights before the suspect's car hit the pole. 

"We always encourage and even plead with drivers —do not ever get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. But, especially during this holiday season, please exercise extra caution when on our roadways," Smith added.

Mendez, who was injured in the crash, is scheduled to be arraigned from the hospital Monday afternoon. He is charged with one count of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Causing Death.

Authorities have not said why the New York man was in the area.