Suspect in fatal crash arraigned for allegedly hitting pedestrian while on drugs

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published March 12, 2019

 Albert Donadio

Albert Donadio

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — A man from Shelby Township was arraigned at the 41-A District Court Feb. 28 for the death of a 15-year-old in a fatal crash that occurred in Shelby Township in January.

Albert Donadio, 33, was arraigned on one count of operating under the influence of drugs causing death, a 15-year felony, and reckless driving causing death.

The crash occurred at 6:10 p.m. Jan. 5 on 25 Mile Road, just west of Hayes Road, and involved Donadio’s silver 2003 BMW striking the teen, from Macomb Township, who was walking with his friend in a construction area.

Donadio, according to police, smelled of marijuana at the time and police then executed a search warrant for his blood.

The pedestrian who was struck by the vehicle was a 15-year-old boy who attended Shelby Junior High School. Officers and paramedics provided emergency medical aid to him; police said he was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to a press release from the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office, police and prosecutors allege that the suspect was driving his vehicle at night, on 25 Mile Road, west of Hayes Road, in Shelby Township. The road was closed to traffic due to construction, and the suspect was driving while under the influence of marijuana. The 15-year-old and his friend were walking westbound on 25 Mile Road, where no vehicles should have been traveling at the time of the crash due to the construction closure.

“There is no greater tragedy than a family losing a child,” said Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith in a prepared statement. “(The) defendant should have never been driving on that closed road, and it speaks volumes to his capability to operate a vehicle after smoking marijuana.”

“It is critical the public grasps the dangers of using marijuana prior to getting behind a wheel of a car. This is the type of devastation it can cause!” Smith stated.

Donadio’s lawyer, Stephen Rabaut, could not be reached for comment by press time.

Donadio’s next court date, a probable cause hearing, was scheduled for March 12, after the Shelby-Utica News went to press. Donadio’s preliminary exam has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. March 19. His bond has been set at $20,000, 10 percent.

“The alleged crime committed by Donadio is reprehensible. I am very confident that justice will be served at the end of the day. My officers will be vigilant and arrest any and all (people) that we discover are driving under the influence of any intoxicants, whether it be alcohol or marijuana,” Shelby Township Police Chief Robert Shelide said in an email.