Trucker’s charge upgraded to a felony.

November 25, 2016
Ashley

Ashley

Trucker’s charge upgraded to a felony.

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

#OceanaCountyNews #CourtNews

HART — The 26-year-old Scottville trucker who rear-ended a family of five and another motorist, July 5, on southbound US 31 near the New Era exit is now facing a felony due to the serious nature of the injuries sustained by a 4-year-old boy involved in the crash.

Jonathon William Ashley, of 837 S. Gordon Rd., was recently arraigned in 78th District Court on a felony charge of “reckless driving causing serious impairment of a body function,” which is punishable us31_july_5_2016_crashby up to five years in prison.

Ashley, who was initially charged with a misdemeanor, is now facing a felony. “The injury was sufficient enough that it meets the statutory definition,” said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon.

Connor Weston who was critically injured in the semi/two-car crash suffered a “catastrophic brain injury and will likely need care and follow-up for the rest of his life,” previously stated Oceana County Sheriff’s Lt. Craig Mast, who spoke with the boy’s father, Benjamin Weston.

Ashley rear-ended two vehicles, one of which was transporting the Wesley family, in heavy southbound traffic near Stony Lake Road in Shelby Township.

Ashley was driving a 2016 Freightliner owned by Apache Logistics of Holland. The accident scene backed up traffic for hours as vacationers were heading back south after the Fourth of July weekend.

Connor Weston was 4 years old at the time of the crash and has since turned 5. He was riding in a 2000 Subaru Outback driven by his father. Also in the car were his mother, Michelle Weston, 36, and brothers, Dylan, 7, and Logan, 10. The family was traveling between destinations while on summer vacation.

The semi also struck a 2016 Mazda driven by Jerrine Marie Forrest, 34, of Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

A preliminary conference is scheduled for Dec. 5 at 3 p.m.

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