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Muskegon County hit-and-run suspect heading to trial after hitting kids at bus stop

Posted at 5:08 AM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 05:09:18-05

MUSKEGON, Mich. — The man accused of hitting two students walking to the bus stop and then leaving the scene has waived his right to a preliminary hearing and is now headed to trial.

Mathew Potter, 22, is facing charges of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury and failing to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in serious impairment or death.

Investigators say Potter hit 14-year-old Tajen Pannell and his 14-year-old twin sister while they were crossing East Tyler Road in Dalton Township around 7 a.m. Tuesday. Tajen, a middle school student at Reeths-Puffer Middle School, suffered two broken legs and a skull fracture, but is expected to survive according to prosecutors.

Prosecutor Matt Roberts said Potter has a previous conviction for leaving the scene of a crash after damaging property dating back to 2017. Roberts also said that Potter admitted to being "blackout drunk" at the time of the crash.

Witnesses told authorities at the crash that the bus picking up the twins was stopped with its flashing lights on. The area is also a no passing zone.

A trail date has not yet been set.

If convicted, the charges together could lead to 10 years in prison.