Arraignment today in fatal crash

Construction worker, 24, faces charges in Ohio collision that killed 5 from Parkville family

January 02, 2008|By Nick Madigan | Nick Madigan,Sun reporter

A 24-year-old construction worker accused of causing the deaths of five members of a Parkville family in a head-on highway collision is scheduled to be arraigned this morning before a judge in Toledo, Ohio.

Michael P. Gagnon of Adrian, Mich., faces five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide as a result of the accident Sunday night. Police said Gagnon drove about four miles in the wrong direction on Interstate 280 before smashing into a minivan carrying the family.

Police said Gagnon, whose pickup truck almost destroyed the minivan, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.25 percent, more than three times the 0.08 percent legal threshold of intoxication in Ohio.

The crash took the lives of Bethany L. Griffin, 36; Jordan Griffin, 10; Vadi Griffin, 8 weeks; Haley Burkman, 10; and Lacie Burkman, 7. Two other children, Sidney Griffin, 8, and Beau Burkman, 8, survived, as did Daniel G. Griffin Jr.

Daniel Griffin, 36, was listed in serious condition yesterday at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo, while his daughter Sidney remained in critical condition. His stepson Beau was treated and released from the hospital.

Gagnon was treated for minor injuries and released to the police, who booked him into the Lucas County Correction Center. His arraignment is set for 9 a.m. in Toledo Municipal Court.

Outside the Griffins' home yesterday on Kintore Court in Parkville, a small shrine included two stuffed animals and a note signed by three of the dead girls' friends. "Someday you will all be reunited," the note said. "God bless you all."

nick.madigan@baltsun.com

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