Charges issued for driver of fatal crash that killed husband and wife in Battle Creek

Charges issued for driver of fatal crash that killed husband and wife in Battle Creek. (File - WWMT)

The Calhoun County prosecutor issued charges and an arrest warrant for a Marshall woman months after a fatal crash killed a husband and wife in Battle Creek.

An arrest warrant was issued on Monday for Johanna Willis, 32, Marshall. She is being charged with two counts of operating while intoxicated causing death and being super drunk during the crash in late September.

Keith Hendryx, 41, and his wife Deborah Hendryx, 56, were killed in the crash and Newschannel 3's Anna Giles was on scene after it happened and reported with the latest development in Battle Creek.

Family and close friends of the Hendryx family said the charges don't bring closure. They say the happy couple lost their lives too soon to someone who made a bad decision.

Eva Halliwell, Keith Hendryx's sister, said, “We didn't get the time to prepare ourselves to lose Keith and Debbie. It's not fair."

Halliwell choked back tears while reacting to the charges filed against Willis, the driver accused of hitting her brother his wife as they were driving on Columbia avenue in late September.

Court documents claim the driver's blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit.

Halliwell said, "Why? Why choose to drink so much?"

She struggles to find closure while remembering the kind hearts of Keith, a former mixed martial arts fighter, and Deborah, a successful photographer.

She said, "Both of them, they were hard to forget. If that makes sense."

Cheryl Taylor describes herself as Keith and Deborah's best friend. She says the couple had been married more than 20 years and lost their lives to someone else's mistake.

Taylor said, "It's been very frustrating. There have been a lot of tears and I think about them every single day"

She's calling on the driver charged to turn herself in.

Taylor said, “They really need to make an example out of her. You really shouldn't be drinking and driving. It's such a stupid decision and ultimately she committed murder."

A decision the couple's family will have to cope with for the rest of their lives.

The Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office does not yet know when Willis will be arraigned and say she could serve up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

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