Traverse City Record-Eagle

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July 22, 2013

Fatal crash driver arraigned

KALKASKA — A Kalkaska woman was arraigned on manslaughter charges from a two-vehicle fatal collision in Kalkaska County that involved the Grayling High School golf team.

Rhonda Mitchell, 45, surrendered to 87th District Court on Monday. She faces three counts of manslaughter with a motor vehicle, three counts of a moving violation causing death and one count of child abuse.

Three people died and six, including Mitchell, were injured in the April 29 crash at the intersection of Crawford Lake Road and County Road 612. Mitchell drove a minivan that collided with another minivan driven by Grayling golf team head coach Jason Potter, 31, who died, along with Mitchell's daughter, Cassandra Stapleton, 27, of Kalkaska, and Louis Menard, 18, of Grayling. Mitchell's granddaughter, 3, was uninjured in the crash.

Michigan State Police found Potter didn't stop at a posted stop sign and Mitchell's minivan traveled at 77 mph at the point of impact. She had marijuana and morphine in her system — a prescription for the morphine was current, but her medical marijuana patient card was expired.

Mitchell is under care of a medical physician and was released on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond. She was ordered to submit to drug tests and surrender her driver's license. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for July 31 and a preliminary examination for Aug. 5.

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