Police looking for driver from fatal Keeler Township hit-and-run

Published 3:55 pm Monday, August 15, 2022

KEELER TOWNSHIP — Police are searching for the driver of the van that struck and killed motorcyclist Darek Jamal Bullock-Mills and critically injured Elyse Zimmerman on August 12 after additional information revealed the arrested subject was not the driver.

According to a Michigan State Police news release, additional investigation has revealed that Renato Florez was not the driver of the van. As of today, Aug. 15, all current charges against Florez have been dropped and he has been released from custody.

When this incident was initially dispatched around 9:45 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12, troopers arrived on scene shortly after deputies from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office. Troopers were advised that Florez was the driver of the van involved in this traffic crash and that he was in custody for suspicion of operating while intoxicated.  Based on the evidence at the scene and accounts from deputies, Florez was ultimately arrested and lodged on OWI traffic crash charges on August 12.

On Sunday, Aug. 14, troopers followed-up on new evidence they discovered during their midnight shift on Saturday, Aug. 13. This new evidence led to the identity of additional passengers/witnesses who were occupants of the van, but who left the scene before officers arrived.

These passengers/witnesses identified another person as the driver. The positively identified suspect driver is still at large, but troopers know their identity and are actively searching for them. 

A GoFundMe has been set up for Zimmerman, who had to have her lower left leg amputated due to injuries sustained in the crash.