Deadly hit-and-run crashes span generation

Left to right: Kelleigh Hobbs and Jay Hobbs' mug shots.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A crash a week ago has 29-year-old Kelleigh Hobbs facing as much as 15 years in prison for the hit-and-run death of Carla Reiffer. It turns out the woman in jail now has a driving record that spans not just years, but a generation.

In Kent County Circuit Court, her father was sentenced to six to 22 years in prison for a crash that killed a 36-year-old mother of five.

Northbound Whitneyville Road in Barry County is where police say Kelleigh Hobbs was driving around 7 p.m. last Friday when she struck the bike ridden by 40-year-old Carla Reiffer. The Barry County Sheriff’s Department says the driver struck the cyclist throwing her yards away and then drove off. The body of the mother of three would be discovered not long after.

Carla Reiffer, Thornapple Township, hit-and-run
A ghost bike and makeshift memorial mark the spot where Carla Reiffer was hit and killed on Whitneyville Road near Parmalee Road in Thornapple Township. (June 26, 2017)

Police found parts of the car that struck the woman and were able to track down a suspect. Monday, Hobbs was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of a fatal crash when at fault and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

It turns out Hobbs only got her license back in April after a history of suspensions and revocations starting when she was a teen in 2007 when she was driving with alcohol in her system, according to the Michigan Secretary of State.

In 2007 and 2010, she has drug charges listed. She has crashes in 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2015. She would have traffic tickets every year starting in 2010 and her license would be suspended in 2015 and 2016. But she was able to get her license back on April 5.

While she is in the Barry County Jail, her father, Jay Hobbs is in prison in Muskegon.

Authorities on scene of a deadly crash in Lowell. (Feb. 15, 2014)

He was driving a pickup truck Feb. 15, 2014 on the Alden Nash Road SE bridge over I-96. Police say he had a blood alcohol content nearly three times the legal definition of drunk when he slammed into Tonya Beha as she was helping to push a van that had run out of gas off the road.

After the crash, police say the 49-year-old man ran and hid in nearby woods where he was discovered by police.

The elder Hobbs’ driving record included a 2010 drunk driving conviction. He would plead no contest to drunk driving causing death and would be sentenced to six to 22 years in prison.

Kelleigh Hobbs will be back in court July 5 for a probable cause hearing.