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Michigan man gets probation for crash that killed daughters

January 9, 2018

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man will serve a year of probation in connection with a drunken driving crash that killed his two adult daughters.

Michael Sutherland was also ordered to pay nearly $2,900 in fines and costs, complete 480 of community service and pay $34,000 in restitution to Pamela Lester, The Herald-Palladium reported .

Sutherland, 67, was driving with his wife, their two daughters and a man one of the daughters was dating when he disregarded a stop sign in December 2016. Lester’s truck wasn’t able to stop and collided with the vehicle.

Bre Anne Sutherland, 37, and Laurel Ashley Sutherland, 41, both of Chicago, were sitting in the backseat and were killed in the crash. Sutherland, his wife Deborah Sutherland, the boyfriend Greg Duncan, and Lester were all injured.

Blood tests after the crash showed that Sutherland had a blood alcohol content of .18, which is more than twice the legal limit for operating a vehicle.

Sutherland spent months in the hospital recovering from the accident. He broke every rib, shattered his arm and had a severe head injury, said Anastase Markou, Sutherland’s lawyer.

“This is nothing more than a terrible tragedy for everyone involved,” Markou said. “He doesn’t have his two daughters anymore because of his actions. He knows he’s at fault. It’s horrific how a bad decision can lead to this kind of tragedy.”

Sutherland pleaded no contest in a plea deal last month to operating while intoxicated causing serious injury. Two counts of operating while intoxicated causing death were dismissed in the plea deal.

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Information from: The Herald-Palladium, http://www.heraldpalladium.com

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