Man killed in wrong-way crash in Niles Township

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article said the 29-year-old driver had been lodged at the Berrien County Jail. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department has clarified the driver is not at the Berrien County Jail, but hospitalized for injuries.

NILES TOWNSHIP — A Benton Harbor man was killed following a fatal collision in Niles Township early Wednesday morning, according to the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.

Just before 3 a.m., deputies were responded to a complaint of a dark SUV driving north in the southbound lane on St. Joseph Valley Parkway at the 6 mile marker. While looking for the vehicle, they learned of a head-on collision at the 9 mile marker.

When officers arrived at the scene of the crash, the driver, a 29-year-old female who has not been named, was outside of her GMC Arcadia refusing medical treatment. At the scene, officers also located the driver of a Ford Fusion, who was ejected from his vehicle during the crash.

This driver, Darnell D. Johnson, 28, of Benton Harbor, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The wrong-way driver was hospitalized for treatment of injuries sustained during the crash. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office will submit a report to the prosecutor’s office for review of potential charges of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, causing death.

Preliminary investigation determined that alcohol consumption by the 29-year-old was a contributing factor in the crash.

The Berrien County accident investigation team continues to investigate the crash.

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