Teen driver who hit Detroit Good Samaritans had marijuana in system

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DETROIT (AP) — A teenage driver who struck two Good Samaritans helping passengers in an overturned car had marijuana in his system at the time.

Keith Martin was driving that April morning last year when he crashed into cancer doctor Cynthia Ray and aspiring high school athlete Sean English on Interstate 96 in Detroit while the two were trying to help six teens trapped a separate rollover crash. Ray died from her injuries and English had his right leg amputated below the knee after the crash.

Ray’s brother, Greg, wrote in a letter to Martin filed with the court that a “careless act of driving under the influence has irreversibly changed the lives of countless people,” the Detroit Free Press reported.

“My sister spent half of her life in school getting the education needed to fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor,” he wrote. “Your stupidity on the morning of April 2, 2017, took away a daughter, sister, sister-in-law, aunt and a doctor to many.”

Martin pleaded no contest March 13 to a felony charge of operating while under the influence causing death and serious injury. He insisted he didn’t smoke marijuana the day of the crash, but court records show positive blood test results for THC, the chemical in marijuana that gives a high.

“My life is forever changed by a driver under the influence,” English wrote. “No one can possibly understand what I’ve gone through. … I didn’t know if this was going to be my last breath.”

Martin’s lawyer Marc Hart previously argued the THC levels were very low and that there was no direct proof Martin was high the morning of the crash. But police found two used joints in Martin’s car, along with a container labeled “medical cannabis” and rolling paper, according to court records.

“I realize now that I should have never had these items in my car,” Martin wrote in a letter to the court. “I wish I could go back in time and change the events that happen(ed) that day.”

Martin’s sentencing is scheduled for April 9. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

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3 comments

    • John

      Don’t let facts get in the way of your perverted view of a plant: Following legalization, the rate of adolescent marijuana use in Colorado has fallen to its lowest level in nearly a decade, according to new federal survey data.

      State-level numbers from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that a little more than 9 percent of Colorado teens age 12 to 17 used marijuana monthly in 2015 and 2016, a statistically significant drop from the prior period. That’s the lowest rate of monthly marijuana use in the state since 2007 and 2008…

  • New Driver

    There is a way to decrease the carnage on our roads and highways:

    1: Any driver operating a MOVING vehicle (just the driver) should not be able to electronically send or receive a smartphone message. Dialing in the case of an emergency should be the only exception. The technology is available to implement this system which to date has not been implemented due to greedy profit-motivated cell phone companies lobbying against this in our U.S. Congress.

    2: Any driver caught by the police operating a smartphone while driving a moving vehicle should be fined $500.00 for each offense. No plea bargaining. The fine must be paid within 4 weeks or the driver’s license will be suspended. In addition the driver’s car insurance should automatically be increased $500.00 for EACH infraction.

    Result: Accidents would decrease dramatically. Think how many lives could be saved!

    Will this ever happen? Of course not. Such a Federal law would never make it through our dysfunctional Congress.