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April 9, 2014

Man charged in Blair crash

TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City man faces felony drug charges after his vehicle drifted into oncoming traffic and left a young couple seriously injured in a Blair Township crash.

Prescription pills spilled out of Shawn Robert Kimbrough’s pockets when Munson Medical Center emergency room personnel treated him after the Feb. 21 crash on M-37, according to court documents. Authorities later found marijuana and a packet of heroin in his pants.

“We always have that concern about any crash involving injury or death,” said Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney. “Our officers are trained to have in the back of their head to look for that.”

The drugs and a blood test led prosecutors last week to file a long list of felony charges against Kimbrough, 27, including two counts of operating with the presence of THC causing serious injury.

Traverse City residents Nathan Derrek Kulpa, 20, and his passenger and girlfriend Devon Mackenzie Holmes, 21, both suffered injuries after Kimbrough’s vehicle crossed the center line and struck their vehicle, court documents state.

Emergency personnel transported Kimbrough to Munson Medical Center, where an emergency room nurse saw several pills fall out of his pockets, court documents state.

Grand Traverse County sheriff’s deputies obtained a warrant to search Kimbrough’s pants and found a bag of suspected heroin, 44 methadone pills and various other prescription medications, a spoon with a burn mark on the bottom and marijuana, police reports state.

State police crime lab technicians confirmed Kimbrough carried a packet that contained 5.6 grams of heroin, according to the court documents.

The lab technicians also analyzed a blood draw taken after the crash and found active THC — the primary psychoactive component in marijuana — “among other substances” in Kimbrough’s blood.

Court documents state Kulpa suffered hip injuries that could affect his mobility for months and his ability to walk normally for a year. Holmes suffered a closed head injury that could keep her out of work or school for a year, the documents state.

Kimbrough is scheduled to appear in 86th District Court for a preliminary examination on April 17. He’s also charged as a habitual offender and could face a life sentence.

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