BY GLENN PUIT
TRAVERSE CITY — A motorist suspected of killing a Central Lake woman in a drunken driving crash had a blood-alcohol content nearly three times the legal limit in Michigan, court records show.
Diane Shafer, 37, died from injuries suffered in the Nov. 23 traffic crash along Alba Highway in Antrim County. The mother of three was a food service and preschool aide for Central Lake schools.
On Thursday, Antrim County Assistant Prosecutor James Rossiter said he approved felony drunken driving charges against Thomas Joseph Altobelli, 60, of Harrison Township.
Rossiter said evidence gathered by Michigan State Police shows Altobelli was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
“He has been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, operating while intoxicated causing serious injury and operating with a high blood-alcohol content,” Rossiter said.
A downstate attorney, Thomas McHugh, represents Altobelli. McHugh could not be reached for comment Thursday.
The Record-Eagle on Thursday obtained a probable cause complaint against Altobelli. The court document states Shafer’s husband, Paul, was driving a van west on Alba Highway at the time of the crash. Paul Shafer told authorities he was driving 35 to 40 miles per hour when he crested a rise in the road and saw a pickup coming toward him in the west lane. The vehicles collided head-on.
An accident reconstruction report indicates Altobelli’s pickup tires “were either on the centerline or in the westbound lane of travel at the time of the collision.”
Troopers interviewed Altobelli and “detected slurred speech and the odor of alcohol.”
Two blood-alcohol tests were administered. The first test indicated a result of 0.207. The second came back at 0.23. The legal limit is 0.08 in Michigan.
Diane Shafer died Dec. 7 at Munson Medical Center. She and her husband were on their way home from a shopping trip at the time.
“We are really grieving,” said Donna McGinley, Shafer’s step-sister. “We want to see justice done and we are glad the charges finally went through.”
BY GLENN PUIT
City debates cost of tourism
A growing debate over the toll that more frequent festivals and increased tourism takes on Traverse City’s infrastructure has pushed noise and trash questions off the main stage.Continued ...
Visitors Bureau hotel levy attractive to city
The Traverse City Convention and Visitors Bureau — recently redubbed Traverse City Tourism — is a trade association with relatively deep pockets, thanks to a levy on local hoteliers.Continued ...
Benzie meth bust nabs familiar suspects
A methamphetamine bust in Benzie County led to the arrests of two suspects already on bond in another drug case.Continued ...
1996 Kalkaska murder case defendant gets new lawyer
A lawyer with a history of representing murder suspects will defend Jason Anthony Ryan, the man suspected of the 1996 rape and murder of Geraldine Montgomery.Continued ...
Newsmakers: Leelanau ends four-year lawsuit
A long-running federal lawsuit against Leelanau County’s former top sheriff’s department officials ended quietly, with four sheriff’s deputies splitting a $625,000 settlement, a deal that spared the public the acrimony that defined its four-year run.Continued ...
Corrections officer gets 2-year probation
A Leelanau County corrections officer avoided spending time in jail off the clock after a judge sentenced him to probation for driving to work drunk.Continued ...
Clearing the Record: 12/21/2013
In Friday’s article about the Glen Lake football team winning the Spicer Award, it should have said the team helped the Friends of the Glen Lake Community Library with its book sale.Continued ...
- Friday, December 20, 2013
Second snowstorm expected Saturday night to Sunday
Back-to-back snowstorms will cover the area in a thick, wintry blanket and make for a very, very white Christmas.Continued ...
City finalizes pedestrian bridge project
A new pedestrian bridge and walkway that will cross the Boardman River and connect the downtown with the city’s developing warehouse district will have to bisect a parking lot to meet West Front Street.Continued ...
No cause identified in 'suspicious' Mayfield blaze
A 57-year-old woman remains hospitalized after suffering injuries in a house fire in Mayfield Township, Grand Traverse County Undersheriff Nate Alger said.Continued ...
Newsmakers: Commissioners may extend food truck hours
Food trucks may be able to expand their local service come spring.Continued ...
Elmwood Township celebrates 150 years
Elmwood Township residents will celebrate the community’s upcoming birthday with a small open house set to kick off a year-long, sesquicentennial celebration.Continued ...
Students sell wreaths to spread Christmas spirit
Madelynn Brady loves the Christmas season. It’s all about family and reaching out and helping other people, said Brady, an eighth grader at Traverse City’s East Middle School.Continued ...
Kingsley man charged with breaking into ex's home
A Kingsley man faces charges after his ex-girlfriend reported he broke into her home.Continued ...
Clearing the Record: 12/20/2013
Because of a reporter’s error, Clare was misspelled in a story that appeared on page 3A of Thursday’s paper.Continued ...
- Thursday, December 19, 2013
Fire victim remembered as prankster, active community member
Fred Albert Savage's high school friends remember him as a star athlete and a prankster who always was quick to smile.Continued ...
Arts groups receive $432,260 in grants
Arts and cultural organizations in the five-county Grand Traverse region received $432,260 of a total $7.7 million in 2014 state grants.Continued ...
Stapleton set for preliminary hearing
An Elberta woman who is accused of trying to kill her autistic daughter is set for a crucial court appearance one day after Christmas.Continued ...
One dead in Whitewater Township fire
TRAVERSE CITY--A Whitewater Township man died in a blaze at his home.Continued ...
Psychologist: Stapleton fit for trial
An Elberta woman is mentally fit to stand trial and face charges that she tried to kill her autistic daughter during a failed murder-suicide bid, a state psychologist determined.Continued ...
Moore’s 'Roger and Me' to be preserved in National Film Registry
Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore’s 1989 film “Roger and Me” is among 25 films set to be preserved in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.Continued ...
State marks funds for local roads
A big chunk of state funding for local road improvements is headed to the Grand Traverse region.Continued ...
Newsmakers: High winds, ice stymied pier construction
High winds and frigid temperatures pushed the completion of a new pier at Northwestern Michigan College to next spring.Continued ...
Fire destroys Torch Lake home
A fire fully engulfed a home in the Orchard Hills subdivision near Torch Lake before firefighters arrived.Continued ...
Kalkaska man accused of stealing safe
A Kalkaska man is set to stand trial in 13th Circuit Court after he was accused of breaking into a Maple City home and stealing a safe.Continued ...
- City debates cost of tourism