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Investigators say alcohol is the cause of deadly wrong-way crash

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KALAMAZOO COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – On Tuesday investigators revealed what they believe is the cause of a deadly wrong-way crash in Kalamazoo County that happened in March.

They say the driver who caused that crash was drunk.

Ultimately the toxicology results from the autopsy of 59-year-old Mark Witsaman revealed his blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit when he crashed.

The wrong-way crash at 131 and Stadium Drive on March 3rd claimed the lives of three people. Mark Witsaman, his mother, Elma Witsaman, and a passenger in the other vehicle, Vicky Mitchell, all died.

“There’s no good reason for this to happen,” said Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller, “and in the end to find out that alcohol was a contributing factor will be very frustrating for people.”

Sheriff Fuller says Mark’s blood alcohol level was 0.21 at the time of the crash. Mark Witsaman drove the wrong way while getting onto 131 and crashed head-on with a truck carrying Vicky Mitchell, her husband bill, and son Brent.

“We had a lot of questions as to why somebody would make that turn and go down that ramp and drive into traffic,” said Sheriff Fuller, “and I think our answer is that the alcohol level is the number one cause there.”

Family members of Mitchell say Bill is still being treated at Mary Free Bed in Grand Rapids. He fractured both legs and an elbow as well as breaking ribs and his sternum. The family says they are currently dealing with a combination of grief and anger.

“The case is closed at this point,” said Sheriff Fuller. “The at-fault driver also passed in the accident, and so our end of the investigation is closed.”

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