Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 1, 2013

Suspect could face felony for fatal Antrim crash

Police believe man caused the crash that killed woman

BY ART BUKOWSKI
abukowski@record-eagle.com

TRAVERSE CITY — The man who police believe caused a crash that killed a Central Lake woman could face a criminal charge as soon as next week.

Diane Shafer, a Central Lake school assistant and mother of three young girls, died Dec. 7 at Munson Medical Center.

She had been in a coma since a Nov. 23 traffic crash along Alba Highway in Antrim County.

Police believe a suspected drunken driver crossed the center line and struck a van driven by Shafer's husband, Paul Shafer. Antrim County Prosecutor Charlie Koop was awaiting a formal traffic crash report from the Michigan State Police.

The report arrived this week, and Koop said a charge could come next week.

The suspect, 60, is from the Detroit area. Shafer's family "absolutely" wants to see him face a criminal charge, said Donna McGinley, Shafer's step-sister.

"It was difficult during Christmas knowing that he was able to be with his family and Diane wasn't," she said.

The suspect could face a felony charge of operating while intoxicated causing death.

Koop could have brought charges sooner, but said he wanted all of the reports in hand.

"We have a philosophy here that we will wait until we have all of the information before we file, in cases that we can," he said.