Kent County judge sentences driver for fatal, alcohol-involved crash

Posted at 5:29 PM, Apr 26, 2018

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Newaygo man has learned his fate, after causing a fatal, alcohol-involved  crash on Thanksgiving Weekend 2017.


The Kent County 17th Circuit Court judge’s clerk tells FOX 17 Ralph Edward Reichard Jr., 34, was sentenced Thursday on four counts in connection with the late-Saturday night (November 25) crash that killed his passenger. The sentencings all will run concurrently – meaning the terms will be served at the same time, not one after the other.

The court says Reichard was sentenced by Judge Dennis Leiber on the following counts:

  • Operating Under the Influence of Intoxicating Liquor Causing Death
  • Operating License Suspended, Revoked, Denied Causing Death

Reichard will serve 75 to 180 months in prison on both of those counts (6-1/4 years to 15 years). The other two counts were:

  • Operating Under the Influence of Liquor Causing Serious Injury
  • Operating License Suspended, Revoked, Denied Causing Serious Injury

The court says Reichard will serve 38 months to 60 months on those two counts (approximately 3 years to 5 years).

The crash occurred around 11:45 p.m., on Sparta Avenue near Ball Creek Road. Witnesses told Kent County Sheriff’s deputies they saw Reichard’s car cross the center line and hit an SUV head-on. His passenger, Christina Kent, of Cedar Springs, died at the scene.

Reichard was taken to a hospital with multiple injuries, and at least four people in the SUV were hospitalized, as well.