Traverse City Record-Eagle


April 10, 2014

UPDATE: Judge's son injured in U.S. 31 crash

TRAVERSE CITY — A local judge's son is in fair condition at Munson Medical Center after an alcohol-related, two-vehicle crash on U.S. 31.

Munson officials confirmed Michael J. Stepka, 24, of Kalamazoo, is in the hospital's care. He's 86th District Court Judge Michael S. Stepka's son.

Michael S. Stepka declined to comment when contacted by a Record-Eagle reporter.

The crash occurred today at 12:30 a.m when a Kingsley man, 25, struck the younger Stepka's vehicle near Three Mile Road and fled the scene, authorities said. Stepka's vehicle then crashed into two power poles and caused a power outage that affected 900 Traverse City Light & Power customers.

Grand Traverse County sheriff's deputies tracked down and arrested the Kingsley man at a nearby hotel and seek charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious injury, possession of marijuana, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and open intoxicant.

Authorities also seek an operating while intoxicated charge against the driver of the other vehicle. The Record-Eagle wasn't able to immediately confirm that the younger Stepka drove the vehicle that crashed into the utility poles.

Read more in Friday's Record-Eagle.


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