HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) - "It was raining cats and dogs," is one of the excuses the mother of Jeremy Yancey used in trying to defend her 30-year-old son after he was arraigned on multiple charges for a crash that killed three people.
Highland Park Police say on April 12 they spotted the Chesterfield Township man driving recklessly on Woodward and turned on their lights and siren on in an attempt to make a traffic stop. But Yancey took off at a high rate of speed, crossed the center line and crashed into a medical transport van.
Officers say Yancey had a blood-alcohol level of .310, nearly four times the legal limit, at the time of the crash.
Ruth Brooks, 55, worked for Life Line Transportation and was driving two patients to an early morning dialysis appointment when all three were killed.
One of the victims, Lawrence Wright, 56, was laid to rest Wednesday as Yancey was being arraigned on multiple charges including three counts of Second Degree Murder and three counts of Operating while Impaired Causing Death.
"I can't imagine anybody drinking that much and getting in a car and driving," said Lawrence's mother, Mildred Wright, who could not attend her son's funeral because of serious health problems.
Darrell Murray Sr. lost his sister, Ruth Brooks, in the crash. Murray went to court to see the man police say is responsible for the three deaths.
"The judge can throw the book at him and throw him under the jail, that's alright with me," said Murray.
Yancey's mother, who would not give her name, told reporters that her son weighs about 350 pounds and suggested that, because of his size, he could not have been too intoxicated to drive.
"He has destroyed a whole family," said Mildred Wright.
Yancey was driving a friend's van at the time of the crash and 7 Action News has learned that woman could also be in trouble with the law.
The day after the deadly wreck, sources say, she lied when she went to Chesterfield Township Police and filed a police report, claiming that Yancey did not have permission to driver her van.
Chesterfield Township Police are not commenting.