Shelby Township Police Detective Phil Young testifies in the 41-A District Court during the preliminary examination for Albert Donadio July 19.

Shelby Township Police Detective Phil Young testifies in the 41-A District Court during the preliminary examination for Albert Donadio July 19.

Photo by Kara Szymanski


Two more witnesses testify in fatal crash case

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published July 22, 2019

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The preliminary examination for a man from Shelby Township who is facing charges of operating under the influence of drugs causing death and reckless driving causing death for a crash that claimed the life of a 15-year-old from Macomb Township Jan. 5 continued July 19 at the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township.

Anthony Jugo, the 15-year-old who was hit, was walking with a friend westbound on 25 Mile Road where no vehicles should have been traveling at the time of the crash due to a construction closure. The crash occurred at 6:10 p.m. just west of Hayes Road and involved Albert Donadio’s silver 2003 BMW striking Jugo.

Donadio, 33, had just come out of a condominium complex on Cambridge Drive and turned left onto 25 Mile, despite the presence of “no left turn” signs and barricades on the roadway, according to the testimony. The boys were 300 feet from their destination when Jugo was struck by the vehicle.

According to police, Donadio smelled of marijuana from 1 to 2 feet away at the time, and police then executed a search warrant for his blood. His blood was drawn later that night at 10:30 p.m.

Donadio allegedly had 9 nanograms of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in his system at the time. Donadio reportedly told police that he didn’t ingest marijuana that day and said he had the previous night.

According to Joseph Stuglin, a Shelby Township police officer who responded to the accident that night, Donadio was given a test to see if he was high and reacted too quickly in some cases, although it didn’t prove that he had been high.

During the June 4 exam, it was discussed that Donadio had swerved to avoid the boys, but then swerved back because he saw another car coming from the opposite direction and fatally struck Jugo.

On July 19, the last two witnesses were called to testify, one via telephone and one on the stand.

One of the witnesses was Dr. Michelle Glinn, a laboratory director for Averhealth’s toxicology lab in St. Louis, who testified via telephone.

Glinn was provided documents for review. She was asked multiple questions about THC and its effects and the possibility of it affecting a person’s driving. She also was asked to describe marijuana and its active ingredients.

Glinn was then asked whether there was a way to tell when someone had smoked by the THC levels in their blood.

“When you smoke THC, the levels in your blood start to drop even as you’re smoking, so the effects tend to lag behind it. So there’s not a real good correlation between the effects of THC and the level in your blood.” Glinn said.

She said alcohol and marijuana are not similar, as THC does not stay in the blood long, so they cannot be tested or compared the same.

Glinn said the indication of THC in the blood sample from Donadio indicates use within the past few hours.

“A person with a THC level of 9 nanograms would have smoked or ingested within the last 12 hours. The time depends on the dose of THC they took,” she said.

“I don’t think at this level it would be that long with the level that we received. ... This is fairly high, and compared to those that have come to me in the lab ... I would think this was more recent, based on the levels.”

She said 9 nanograms is enough to be in a person’s blood for six hours.

“I would not expect to see a level of 9 six hours later, maybe a 1 or 2,” Glinn said.

“A level of 9 nanograms of THC is on the high side. So, if the sample (was) collected several hours after the crash, this would indicate that it was higher during the time of the crash,” said Glinn.

She was asked what number she thought would be considered a dangerous level.

“If you have blood levels above a 5, that is a level it appears that the risk of being involved in a crash go way up, like six times,” said Glinn.

She mentioned that one of the effects of THC is swerving back and forth.

She said that tolerance can also affect the levels of THC in blood.

Donadio’s lawyer, Steven Rabaut, mentioned that other things in the environment need to be considered outside of the marijuana.

The second witness to testify was Shelby Township Police Detective Phil Young. He said that he had reviewed the tapes from the officers on the scene that night.

A discussion about a sidewalk not being available for pedestrians on either side of 25 Mile and “road closed” signs was brought up again.

It was discussed again that there were multiple “road closed” and “no left turn” signs.

It was also stated that west of Hayes Road had no signs or barrels that indicated the road was closed. Young confirmed the details from the previous examination date, which he also attended.

It was discussed that Donadio had driven through the Cambridge Condominiums and cut through despite the “private property” sign.

Rabaut questioned whether Shelby Township police would call it a traffic or trespassing violation.

“If they give us permission to enforce it,” said Young. He agreed that police do not have permission to enforce it.

Questions also were asked as to whether a measurement of the road was taken after the crash.

“When we run the FARO machine, it does (the measuring),” Young said. FARO makes 3D measuring machines.

It was also confirmed that Donadio was not texting or emailing or making phone calls, as Young was given permission to look at Donadio’s phone.

Donadio’s next court date is projected for sometime in mid-September.

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