Drunk driver jailed after seriously injuring woman in Niles crash

A drunk driver who severely injured a Schoolcraft woman in a head-on collision in Niles Township over the winter was ordered to spend nearly a year in jail.

Scott William Park, 43, of Niles, was sentenced Monday in Berrien County Court to 330 days in the Berrien County Jail for operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing serious injury.

Scott William Park

Scott William Park

Judge Angela Pasula also ordered Park to spend five years on probation, during which he will be on various forms of alcohol monitoring. He must also attend weekly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and successfully complete any treatment programs recommended by the probation department.

The accident occurred on M-51 near Pucker Street in Niles Township on Dec. 26. At that time Park’s vehicle crossed the centerline and hit another vehicle head on driven by 27-year-old Chelsea LaPorte, a 2007 Schoolcraft graduate.

LaPorte, who appeared in the courtroom wearing a walking boot, said she was working in Niles as a nurse and that the accident is affecting both her home and work life.

“My independence was completely ripped away from me,” she said. “I am healing slowly and I have more surgery in the future, but I am very lucky.”

LaPorte said she agreed with the sentence.

Park was also injured in the accident and was using a walker to get around court Monday.

He told Judge Pasula that he has had a drinking problem for approximately 20 years.

When Pasula asked why had he not sought out counseling before this incident, Park said he did not have a good reason.

“You are taking a personal problem you have and making it public when you get behind the wheel,” Pasula said.

Park apologized to the victim and his family for the hurt he caused.

“I apologize for the selfish decision I made that night,” he said.

Park was also ordered to pay more than $13,000 in restitution to LaPorte.

Dowagiac

Dowagiac City Council takes action on blighted property

Dowagiac

UPDATE: Wayne Township house fire, death investigation ongoing

Berrien County

Michigan Works! to host Friend of the Court Amnesty Day, Expungement and Resource Fair

Business

Working artisans to bring their crafts to Under the Harvest Moon

Cass County

Dowagiac man dies in house fire

Berrien County

Blossomtime Festival to return

Cassopolis

PHOTO STORY: Cassopolis organization hosts inaugural Walk of Hope

Cass County

Dave Young to host revival conference at Volinia Baptist Church

News

Paddle auction to be hosted at Niles church Sept. 30

Berrien County

Local league to register voters on National Voter Registration Day

Dowagiac

DAR to host rededication

News

Niles Housing Commission moves to make improvements, stabilize funding into the future

Dowagiac

Dowagiac police investigating Saturday night shooting

Cass County

Van Buren/Cass District Health Department confirms COVID-19 associated death of a student in Van Buren County

Cass County

Cassopolis man gets probation for drunk driving

Cass County

South Bend man resentenced in 1997 Union murder case

Dowagiac

Army veteran talks his experience in Afghanistan

Business

Local farm markets ready for fall season

Business

Mason’s Pumpkins preparing for second-annual Harvest Festival

Dowagiac

DUS, teachers continue contract talks

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Area History Museum fundraiser raises $40,000

Giving

Wolverine Pipeline, area organizations partner to lend veteran a helping hand

Business

Cassopolis woman opens vintage, antique store downtown

Brandywine Education

Tickets on sale for Brandywine Hall of Fame induction ceremony