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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.

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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:

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  • 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.