Niles woman charged with leaving the scene of injury accident

Published 11:04 pm Thursday, October 7, 2010

Two motorcyclists were injured on Old U.S. 31. (Photo submitted by Berrien County Sheriff’s Department)

Two motorcyclists were injured on Old U.S. 31. (Photo submitted by Berrien County Sheriff’s Department)

A Niles woman is charged with drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident that injured two people Wednesday night.

The Berrien County Sheriff Department is investigating a car versus motorcycle crash Wednesday at 9:44 p.m. on Old U.S. 31 at the intersection of Fairland Avenue in Niles Township.

When deputies arrived on scene they found a 2002 Harley Davidson motorcycle driven by Thomas Gauthier, 59, of Buchanan, and his passenger, Deanna Adams, 45, of Bridgman, driving south on Old U.S. 31 and attempting to making a left turn onto Fairland Avenue.

They were struck in the left side by a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox driven by Cheryl Fisher, 48, of Niles. Fisher was also driving south on Old US-31 behind the motorcycle and attempted to pass on the left when the two crashed. Gauthier and Adams where thrown from the motorcycle onto the roadway.

The impact severed Gauthier’s left leg and Adams received a sever closed head injury. Both were transported by Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance to Memorial Hospital in South Bend. At the time of this report both were listed as stable in the intensive care unit.

After the crash Fisher stopped, but then left the scene. Deputies following the trail left by the damaged SUV and checking the area located Fisher and her SUV in a driveway on Geyer Road, approximately four miles from the crash site. A investigation determined that Fisher was intoxicated and was placed under arrest for  operating while intoxicated, second degree, causing serious injury and leaving the scene of a serious injury accident.

Fisher was lodged at the Berrien County Jail.

The report will be sent to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office for review. The crash is being investigated by the Berrien County Sheriff’s Accident Reconstruction Unit. Deputies were assisted at the scene by Michigan State Police and the Niles Township Fire Department.

The crash closed that section of Old U.S. 31 for more than five hours.