Only on 7, suspended drivers are causing deadly accidents on Metro Detroit roads
It's happening at an alarming rate. Just in the past few weeks, we've told you about half a dozen drivers with suspended licenses wreaking havoc on Metro Detroit roads.
Many are blatantly ignoring the laws, with dangerous consequences.
Forty-six-year-old Rodrick Motley was a loving father of 4, devoted son and caring husband. He spent 10 1/2 years in a relationship with his wife.
"Rod was always a people person who loved for everyone to have a good time. He was the life of the party," says his wife Erica Motley.
But, on a quiet Tuesday afternoon, February 7th, his life came to a sudden end.
It happened at Chandler Park drive and Newport on Detroit's east side.
The FedEx driver of nearly 23 years was working his daily route, when a speeding driver escaping the scene of an accident struck him. He was pronounced dead shortly after.
Detroit Police say 26-year-old Myah Batts took his life.
Her driving history reveals a troubling and lengthy rap sheet, filled with numerous traffic offenses, license suspensions and violations for driving suspended.
Still, without a valid license, she was able to get behind the wheel - allegedly intoxicated.
"She didn't care about anybody when she made her choices. She ruined a lot of lives because of her choices," says Rodrick's sister Andrea Motley.
This wasn't an isolated incident. Others are making the same bad choices at a staggering rate.
Recently, in Dearborn Heights, a rollover accident was caused by a suspended driver who ran from police.
It also happened back on January 23rd, when Jonas Smith Jr. was caught driving on a suspended license more than 50 times.
Back on January 18th, Lamar Odom was sentenced for hitting bicyclists while driving suspended.
Most recently, in video released March 6th, a driver was seen leading police on a high speed chase after allegedly stealing from a mall in Livonia.
A recent study by AAA supports the need for a tougher law.
In the study, Michigan is listed among states where suspended drivers are responsible for 1 out of 5 deadly crashes.
"We have laws in this state that promote people driving dirty," says state senator Bert Johnson from Detroit.
He tells us fatal crashes involving suspended drivers indicate a broken system that lawmakers must address.
Johnson adds that some drivers simply can't afford to pay expensive responsibility fees, but others are clearly refusing to follow the law.
They are also not discouraged by the penalty of 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Detroit Police tell us drivers must take advantage of safer options such as taxi services or Uber.
In the meantime, Myah Batts remains behind bars facing charges in connection with Rodrick's death.
Senator Johnson is also pledging to take action to make our roads safer.