Driver in Crash that Killed 4 Under the Influence of Marijuana

By: AP
By: AP

PAW PAW, Mich. (AP) -- A woman blamed for a crash that killed four church members on an icy road in southwestern Michigan has been charged with driving under the influence of marijuana.

Ashley Baker of Watervliet faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of causing death while driving. In February, her van failed to stop at a stop sign and struck a car carrying the four women on a rural road in Van Buren County, about 40 miles southwest of Kalamazoo.

The victims were members of Keeler Baptist Church and were returning home from a restaurant.

Prosecutor Michael Bedford says he's not required to prove how the marijuana affected Baker's driving. Baker appeared in court Friday. A message seeking comment was left for her attorney, Gary Stewart Jr.

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  • by Leslie Location: Holt on May 8, 2013 at 07:43 AM
    If you are going to report this type of story start by being a responsible journalist. What you never seem to mention in these "reports" is the marijuana stays in a persons system for more than 30 days. The young lady could have could have smoked marijuana last week and still, by an ignorant law enacted by under educated and bias judges on the MSSC, be considered under "the influence". That's why Prosecutor Michael Bedford says he's not required to prove how the marijuana affected Baker's driving. She's been deemed guilty by association.
  • by Liz Location: MI on May 5, 2013 at 04:43 PM
    The thing is… this event is newsworthy due to its relative rarity. If every traffic fatality related to alcohol use, or worse, driver distraction, got this much print, there would little room for much else.
  • by Brookl Location: Galesburg, MI on May 5, 2013 at 07:22 AM
    Ms. Baker is my cousin and she wasn't high and that night the roads were really icy and that part the county don't plow really good in that area. She feels really bad what has happen. She wasn't out to harm anyone she was out to grab some dinner for her kids. We all need some prays for her.
  • by Richard Location: Lansing on May 1, 2013 at 11:54 AM
    The prosecutor should be made to prove impairment! Such a low standard of guilt and highlights the incompetence and bigotry of Schuette and the Michigan "lazy" Legislature regarding Marijuana. My condolences to the 4 people in the car..
  • by Anonymous on Apr 30, 2013 at 10:11 PM
    When Colorado passed to legalize Marijuana within a week later..there was a fatal hit and run in that state as well. Driver was also high on marijuana. It will only get worse. Condolences to the Innocent victims of this tragedy.
  • by Bob Location: Lansing on Apr 30, 2013 at 06:33 AM
    @ Mike - lol, you're funny
  • by Anonymous on Apr 29, 2013 at 04:56 AM
    who says there are no bad effects from MMj.
  • by REN Location: Lansing on Apr 28, 2013 at 08:02 AM
    First, I pray for those killed and their families. I also pray for Ms. Baker. As far as the accident, maybe it was pot, maybe icy road, maybe both. Since the prosecutor says he doesn't have to prove how pot affected her driving, why charge her with driving under the influence of marijuana. If these people had not died, would the penalties be the same as an "alcohol related" accident? If not, WHY. It is time we treat pot and other drugs, texting, and other distracted drivers with the same penalties. NOW THERE IS A CASH COW. We can milk our way out of debt in no time flat.
  • by Mike Location: Charlotte on Apr 27, 2013 at 08:39 AM
    This is ablsolutely idiotic. I guarantee that the MJ had NOTHING to do with this accident and I would challenge the fact that she was even under the influence at the time. There is no drug test that can determine if a person is under the influence if MJ...they can only tell if it's in your stays in your system for several days, weeks , or even months after using it.
  • by Name Location: Location on Apr 27, 2013 at 03:31 AM
    I guess we count this as risk for MMJ it is not a fatality on the user, but four deaths is related to it.
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