Man facing charges after wrong-way crash on I-696 leaves 1 dead

By: Brian Wells | Roseville-Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 22, 2023




ROSEVILLE — A Jackson man is facing charges after a crash that left one dead in Roseville.

At approximately 3:35 a.m. on Friday, May 5, the Michigan State Police’s Detroit Regional Communications Center received calls of a Jeep Liberty driving eastbound in the westbound lanes of Interstate 696 near Coolidge Highway, in Oakland County, according to a tweet by the Michigan State Police’s Second District.

According to a press release from the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, the driver, identified as Stephano Nabors, 40, of Jackson, collided with a vehicle near Couzens Road in Madison Heights, causing the vehicle to roll. Nabors allegedly continued on into Macomb County.

As Michigan State Police were entering the highway near Groesbeck Highway, Nabors almost hit a patrol car head-on, according to the press release.

Officers continued to follow Nabors as he continued driving eastbound in the westbound lanes of I-696, until he collided head-on with a Chevrolet SUV near Gratiot Avenue.

The driver of the second vehicle, a 62-year-old from Harper Woods, was pronounced dead at the scene. Nabors and his passenger, who has not been identified, received minor injuries, according to authorities.

“We are continuing to see drivers making poor driving decisions that are resulting in serious injuries or death in traffic crashes,” Michigan State Police 1st Lt. Mike Shaw said in a prepared statement. “We (are) asking people to drive responsibly. Slow down; don’t drive impaired or distracted. It really is that simple.”

Nabors was arraigned by Judge Alyia Hakim May 8 in the 39th District Court in Roseville. He is charged with second-degree murder, a felony punishable by life in prison; operating while intoxicated causing death; reckless driving causing death; driving while license is suspended causing death; and fleeing and eluding police, all of which are 15-year felonies.

Hakim set Nabors’ bond at $1 million cash or surety with no 10%. He is scheduled for a probable cause conference at 8:30 a.m. July 19 in the 39th District Court.

“The defendant’s reckless decision to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol resulted in a tragic and senseless loss of life,” Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido said in a prepared statement. “Driving the wrong way on I-696 demonstrated a complete disregard for the safety of others on the road.”

According to the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, Nabors had warrants for his arrest out of Wisconsin and Jackson. Court records show Nabors was sentenced to jail in July 2020 for operating while intoxicated and driving on a suspended license in Jackson for an incident in 2019.

Records from the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in Wisconsin show an arrest warrant issued for Nabors Oct. 20, 2022, for operating with a restricted controlled substance with a minor passenger (under 16 years old), third offense; operating while under the influence, third offense; and operating with restricted controlled substance in blood, third offense.

Nabors’ attorney, Samuel Bennett, declined to comment.