Driver, 19, arraigned in pedestrian’s death

By: Sara Kandel | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published April 17, 2013

EASTPOINTE — A 19-year-old Clinton Township man was charged with reckless driving causing death after he lost control of his vehicle and struck and killed a pedestrian standing in the Gratiot median near Chestnut.

Cody Hash was arraigned on the possible 15-year felony in front of Judge Carl Gerds of the 38th District Court in Eastpointe April 5. Bond was set at $100,000 cash or surety — no 10 percent.

Police said that at approximately 2:45 p.m. April 4, Hash was traveling northbound on Gratiot, when he attempted to cross three lanes of traffic — from the far right lane to the far left lane — and lost control of his vehicle. His silver Jeep Cherokee went up the curb, striking a 64-year-old man, and then traveled another 300 feet before crashing into a tree.

The victim, whom police have not publicly identified, had been waiting to cross the street with his girlfriend and a child when the car struck him. Paramedics transported him to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The girlfriend and child were not injured.

Witnesses estimated Hash to be driving at approximately 50-55 mph when the accident occurred. Police said alcohol was not a factor in the incident. Following the incident, Detective Lt. Dave Ernatt, of the Eastpointe Police Department, issued a statement reminding all drivers to follow the speed limit and be on the lookout for pedestrians.

“As the weather starts becoming warmer, there are going to be more pedestrians out and about, as well as bicyclists and motorcyclists,” Ernatt said.

“Obey the speed limit and beware of your surroundings. Getting somewhere a few minutes sooner isn’t worth the consequences if something tragic happens.”

In addition to prison, if convicted, Hash faces $2,500-$10,000 in fines and mandatory vehicle immobilization or forfeiture. He would also be responsible for the cost of emergency response and prosecution.

Hash requested court-appointed counsel, and Shelby Township attorney Frank Frontczak was assigned the case. Attempts to reach Frontczak were not returned at press time.

A preliminary exam is scheduled for 1 p.m. April 16.