Tennessee man could face 15, 20 years in prison for causing Sunday motorcycle crash. 

September 23, 2022

Bruner

Tennessee man could face 15, 20 years in prison for causing Sunday motorcycle crash. 

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

LUDINGTON —Bryan Lewis Bruner, 35, of Gatlinburg, Tenn., could face up to 20 years in prison in his involvement in a crash that occurred Sunday, Sept. 17 on Pere Marquette Highway in Pere Marquette Township. The crash occurred about 2 a.m. north of Irish Road. 

According to the Michigan State Police, a preliminary investigation showed a 2005 Honda motorcycle, driven by Robert Sellers, 49, of Ludington, was rear-ended by a 2019 Hyundai Accent, driven by Bruner. MSP reported, in a press release, that the Hyundai fled the scene after crashing into the motorcycle. 

“Troopers and a captain from the Ludington Fire Department arrived on scene and found the motorcycle and its critically injured 49-year-old operator,” the press release stated. Sellers, who had not been wearing a helmet, was transported by Life EMS to Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital before being airlifted to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids.

As additional medical personnel were responding to the initial scene, Pere Marquette Township Fire Chief Larry Gaylord located the Hyundai on Pere Marquette Highway near Inman Road, which  was approximately a half mile from the original crash scene. “The vehicle was found stalled in the southbound travel lane with disabling damage. Deputies from the Mason County Sheriff’s Office responded to the second scene, and after conducting an on-scene investigation, the driver of the Hyundai was arrested for operating while intoxicated causing serious injury and hit and run causing serious injury.

“Alcohol is considered to be a factor in the crash. Portions of Pere Marquette Highway were closed for  approximately three hours while the crash was investigated,” the press release stated. 

Court records show that Bruner refused to take a breathalyzer exam at the scene. Michigan law requires a blood draw at a hospital for anyone who refuses to take a breathalyzer exam. 

Bruner was arraigned Wednesday, Sept. 21, in Mason County’s 79th District Court with two felony charges: operating a vehicle under the influence causing incapacitating injury and failure to stop at the scene of a serious personal injury accident. Guidelines for sentencing on the first count vary depending on several factors, including alcohol content of the defendant at the time of the crime and the resulting injury or death of the victim. Maximum punishments range from 15 to 20 years imprisonment. Failure to stop at a scene of an accident can have a maximum punishment of either five or 15 years imprisonment.

A probable cause hearing is scheduled for Oct. 5, 2022. Bail was set at $500. 

“Troopers at the scene were assisted by the Michigan State Police Drug Recognition Expert, Mason County  Sheriff’s Office Crash Reconstruction Team, Pere Marquette Charter Township Fire Department,  Ludington Fire Department, and Life EMS. The crash remains under investigation.”

Any witnesses to the crash who did not speak to police at the scene are asked to contact the  Michigan State Police, Hart post, at (231) 873-2171.

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