Alleged drunk driver in wrong-way crash facing charges

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – An alleged drunk driver who caused a deadly wrong-way highway crash on 1-96 is facing charges.

Prosecutors are charging 40-year-old Michelle Cormelita-Mendoza Lerma with operating while intoxicated causing death.

Authorities say Lerma was driving east in westbound lanes of I-96 near the East Beltline exit near Grand Rapids on Sept. 14 when her minivan hit a car. The other driver, 58-year-old Gregory Gene Johnson of Grass Lake, was killed in the wreck.

There have been several wrong-way crashes on West Michigan highways. The Michigan Department of Transportation says the recent wrong-way crashes were caused by human error there’s not currently a viable way to prevent similar crashes.

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