SUV driver in deadly Montcalm Co. buggy crash sentenced

The 2011 GMC Terrain involved in a buggy crash in Bloomer Township on March 15, 2017. (Courtesy Montcalm County Sheriff's Department)

STANTON, Mich. (WOOD) — An Ionia County woman faces fines and probation for crashing into a buggy in Montcalm County last spring, killing one of two children inside.

Tiffany Christiansen of Hubbardston was sentenced on Monday, Oct. 16 to fines, costs, and 40 days in jail, according to the court. However, she can perform community service in lieu of jail, administrators say.

Christiansen was charged with committing a moving violation causing death in connection to the March 15 crash, which happened just before 8 a.m. in rural Bloomer Township, southwest of Carson City.

Deputies said a 2011 GMC Terrain driven by Christiansen was heading eastbound on Fenwick Road when she hit the eastbound buggy from behind.

Two boys were inside the buggy: 13-year-old Landon Newswanger and 10-year-old Leighton Newswanger. The brothers were both airlifted to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, where Leighton later died from his injuries.

The family told 24 Hour News 8 the children were on their way to school at the time of the crash.

Christiansen was not injured during the crash. The horse was seriously injured and euthanized at the scene.

In March, deputies said speed didn’t appear to be a factor; however, glare from the morning sun may have played a role.