Scottville man pleads no contest in December 2017 vehicular death.

March 26, 2019

Scottville man pleads no contest in December 2017 vehicular death.


LUDINGTON — A 23-year-old Scottville man was sentenced to one year discretionary jail time for up to one year for the December 1, 2017 vehicular death of Benjamin Compeau, 35, of Scottville.

Laurance Russell Adams, Jr., of 104 E. Third St., pleaded no contest in 79th District Court recently for the charge of moving violation causing death. In addition to the discretionary jail sentence, he must no incur any traffic violations during that time and must pay $1,415 in fines/costs. The conviction is reportable to the Michigan Secretary of State. Discretionary jail time means that the defendant could be sent to jail if he were to violate the terms set by the judge.

Benjamin Compeau

In the morning of Dec. 1, 2017, Adams was traveling eastbound on US 10-31 in a full-size 1995 Chevrolet van when he crossed the centerline in the 700 block (in front of Our Savior Lutheran Church) and struck Compeau’s  westbound 2011 Kia Optimahead-on, killing Compeau and causing minor injuries to Compeau’s 1 1/2-year-old son, who was secured in a car seat in the rear passenger side of the vehicle, according to Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole. Adams’ van then struck a westbound 2006 Dodge Caravan minivan driven by Jonathan Dipple, 23, of Custer.

Cole said an investigation concluded that it is likely Adams fell asleep. He said alcohol or drugs, distracted driving, and mechanical failure were all ruled out as causes. The crash occurred about 7:40 a.m., before dawn (sunrise was after 8 a.m.).

Following the December 2017 crash Adams was transported by AeroMed ambulance to Munson Medical Center in Traverse City. AeroMed landed on the highway just east of the scene, about 1/4 mile from the Scottville city limits.

Adams’ passenger, Chelsea Ward, 22, of Scottville, was transported to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital by ambulance, as were Compeau’s child and Dipple.

On May 2, 2018, Adams caused another crash, in the City of Ludington, when he failed to yield the right-of-way to another vehicle at the intersection of Madison and Dowland streets. The crash resulted in no injuries but caused Adams’ vehicle to rollover on its side. Adams was issue a citation for failure to yield the right-of-way.

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