How the video of a Lansing-area restaurant led police to an alleged hit-and-run driver
Eagle TWP. – Police used security video from a fast food restaurant to find the driver and vehicle they believe were involved in a fatal crash on West Grand River Expressway on August 11.
The Clinton County Sheriff’s Sergeant retrieved video from a McDonald’s restaurant on West Grand River and Wright Road and saw photos of a vehicle matching the description of the person involved in the crash that killed Tyler Ray Olson, 30, who was riding an electric motorcycle, in court. Records indicate.
Police said the silver Ford Edge drove through a driveway just before the accident.
Police said the sergeant checked the vehicle’s license plate number and traced it to Jose Molina Fuentes at an address on South Grange Road east of Portland. There, investigators found a silver Ford Edge in a detached garage with damage matching evidence from the scene.
Molina Fuentes admitted he was the driver involved in the accident, saying he “hit what he thought was either a deer or maybe some rubbish on the road, and continued on his way back to his residence,” Clinton County Sheriff Mike Gott testified in court. A hearing that led to criminal charges being brought against Molina Fuentes.
Gott testified that Molina Fuentes did not have a driver’s license from Michigan or any other US state. He told police he had a driver’s license in Mexico, but police were unable to find confirmation on the Law Enforcement Information Network that he had “any kind of driver’s license at all,” the police agent said at the hearing.
Molina Fuentes was charged with failing to stop at the scene of the fatal accident and driving with a suspended, revoked or refused license causing death, according to court records.
Molina Fuentes’ attorney, Michael Ochs, said investigators determined that Olson turned in front of Molina Fuentes’ car, which never derailed.
Olson, of Eagle Township, was killed while riding an electric motorcycle around 11:06 p.m. along the West Grand River, just west of Hinman Road. Sheriff’s officials said he was riding on the side of the road with the lights on and he was wearing a reflective safety vest.
A witness said the driver of the westbound car hit the bike and did not stop at the scene, Gott testified.
Police said the Ford Edge found in the garage was missing a driver-side mirror and had damage to the driver-side quarter panel. The police agent said the car also had a red stripe on the corner of the hood and a lime green stripe on or near the fender, both of which were left by the victim’s clothing.
He added that the driver’s side mirror was found on the road at the scene of the accident.
The charges against Molina carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison upon conviction. A hearing to determine whether he should be tried on these charges is scheduled for October 26.
Contact Beijing Palmer at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @KBPalm_lsj.
This article originally appeared in the Lansing State Journal: How a restaurant video led police to an alleged hit-and-run driver