Driver arrested in fatal Benton Harbor accident

A 37-year-old Benton Harbor man, James Everette Poole, was pronounced dead after suffering injuries from a single vehicle accident in the city of Benton Harbor late Wednesday night. The driver of the car, the 28-year-old nephew of the deceased, Zachary Jawan Poole, was arrested and charged with his death.

Benton Harbor Police tell NewsCenter16 they were dispatched to the scene of a single car accident at 1057 Ogden in Benton Harbor. Police received reports that a car struck a tree or fence and was attempting to flee the scene.

Police say they located the vehicle several blocks away from the accident scene.

The driver told police he was attempting to drive the injured passenger to the hospital. Officers discovered the front seat passenger had died from a result of his injuries.

The deceased and the driver were both transferred to Lakeland Hospital. A second passenger of the vehicle, 22-year-old Willie Frank Caldwell of Benton Harbor, had left the scene of the crash on foot and was later dropped off at the hospital by a relative.

Captain Pompey of the Benton Harbor Police Department says alcohol was a factor in the crash. Pompey told NewsCenter16 that Michigan law says the driver of a vehicle where a passenger dies can be charge with negligent homicide.

Zachary Jawan Poole is charged with one count Negligent Homicide, which carries a 2 year prison term and one count of Operating under the influence / causing death which carries a 15-year prison term.

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