Driver was five times over legal limit

The driver who was going the wrong way on the East Beltline and caused a fatal crash had five times over the legal limit of alcohol to drive, the Michigan State Police said Tuesday, December 1.

Thirty-year-old Aaron Hayes was killed Monday, November 23 on his way to work as a first grade teacher in Greenville. He was northbound when a vehicle operated by Leonel Franco-Avina, 38 years old, hit Hayes car head on while driving the wrong way. Witnesses told investigators that Franco-Avina’s vehicle may have been driving without lights. There were alcohol and beer containers in the car, which was not owned by Franco-Avina.

Franco-Avina, born July 18, 1971, was arraigned in 63rd District Court before Judge Sara Smolenski on a two-count warrant for Second Degree Murder and Operating While Intoxicated Causing Death. He was arraigned at Spectrum Health downtown campus where he will remain, guarded by the Kent County Sheriff’s Department until he can be released to the jail. A search warrant was obtained for his blood to determine the amount of alcohol in his system at the time of the crash. His level was .425 percent, over five times the legal limit in Michigan of .08. The accident remains under investigation.

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