Pregnant Mother of Four Charged After Fatal Crash Kills Two, Injures 14 in Michigan

 Pregnant Mother of Four Charged After Fatal Crash Kills Two, Injures 14 in Michigan

WLNS 6 News/YouTube

In a tragic incident on the outskirts of Lansing, Michigan, a pregnant mother of four, Ashley Monroe, 35, has been charged with multiple felonies following a devastating crash that resulted in the deaths of two men and injuries to 14 others. The crash occurred as a group of family members, ranging from 2 to 61 years old, including eight children, were walking along the side of the road in Watertown Township.

The victims, Johnathan Esch, 30, a local firefighter and paramedic, and Daniel Harris, 42, a married father of four, were pronounced dead at the scene, as reported by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office. A 38-year-old woman was critically injured and remains hospitalized, along with five others whose injuries were reported as non-life-threatening.

Authorities apprehended Monroe approximately three miles from the crash site. According to the sheriff’s office, deputies found an open, “mostly empty” bottle of whiskey in her purse and determined her blood alcohol content was .183, which is more than twice the legal limit.

Monroe faces 11 felony charges, including two counts of operating while intoxicated causing death, two counts of failure to stop at a scene of a crash when at fault causing death, six counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury, and one count of failure to stop at the scene of a crash resulting in serious impairment or death WILX-TV and WLNS-TV in Lansing.

Additional charges may be filed as the investigation continues. During her arraignment, details emerged about the circumstances leading to her arrest. An officer testified that he observed Monroe driving off the roadway, through the grass, and across the center divider just minutes after the crash. “Her car was located with severe damage to the front passenger side, consistent with witness statements, as well as blood, hair, and other tissue on her vehicle,” assistant prosecutor Debra Martinez stated in the streamed court proceedings.

Monroe, who is employed as a clerk at the Michigan Secretary of State’s office, lives with her fiancé and children. Her attorney, Ronald Zawacki, highlighted her lack of prior criminal history during the court session. Meanwhile, the community has rallied around the victims, with the West Lansing Church of Christ organizing donations and a prayer vigil to support the affected families and cover medical and other expenses. Monroe’s bond was set at $1 million, double the amount requested by prosecutors, reflecting the gravity of the charges. Her next court appearance is scheduled for May 30.

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