BAD AXE, MI – The driver of the vehicle that slammed into a medical facility on June 11th, 2020 has turned himself into authorities.
This afternoon, Monday June 22nd, 2020, shortly after 1:00 p.m., the suspect in the incident, Billy James Werth Jr, was arraigned in the 73B District Court after he turned himself in. It appears he had been out of state for some of the time while he was being sought after by the Huron County Sheriff’s Department.
Billy Werth was given a bond of $5000 and was released.
On June 11th, 2020, at 11:22 p.m., the Huron County Sheriff’s Department and other agencies responded the Huron County Medical Care Facility on S. Van Dyke in Colfax Twp., which was the scene of a vehicle accident.
Deputies found that a 2008 Dodge pickup was eastbound when it left the roadway striking a gas main, then a tree and then ended up in the building’s chapel on its top. It was further learned that the driver, who was identified as Billy James Werth Jr. and a young child had fled the scene and could not be found. It was certain though that one or both were injured. A puppy, that was believed to be injured, was also found. A good Samaritan took custody of the animal and sought treatment for it.
With the gas main leaking, gas company officials advised to evacuate the building. Fortunately the gas leak issue was quickly brought under control.
Deputies continued to check the area and the accident scene was cleared with the pickup remaining in the building. This was done in order so authorities could properly survey the damage to the building in the daylight.
Around 4:00 a.m., it was learned that Billy Werth and a 5-year-old boy had made it to the boy’s mother’s home in the Croswell area. Sanilac County Sheriff’s Deputies responded but Werth once again fled on foot.
Deputy Sgt. Neumann responded to that residence and learned the full identity of the suspect driver. He further learned Billy Werth had also stolen a vehicle to get out of the area from the Misty Meadows Trailer park, which was only a few miles west of the accident scene.
Apparently while fleeing from the scene, other vehicles at residences, along the way had also been stopped at in an attempt to find a getaway vehicle. Fortunately, the child hadn’t been injured in the crash but 36-year-old Billy Werth was.
Apparently the two had come to the area to purchase a puppy for the child. Sgt. Neumann took possession of the stolen vehicle and it was towed back to county facilities to be processed for evidence. The boy was left with his mother.
The puppy was examined by a veterinarian and was reunited with the little boy.
The pickup truck was removed from the building later that afternoon.
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