The driver of a car that vaulted over the Dorr exit on U.S.-131 last January is only being charged with a misdemeanor.
The motorist, Chandler Cockerham, 25, of Kalamazoo. is facing a charge of operating a vehicle with the presence of a controlled substance, but it is his second offense. Michigan State Police said Cockerham has a previous conviction for driving with alcohol in his blood as a minor and he has a history of substance abuse.
Cockerham was reported to have had cocaine in his system during the Jan. 13 incident, according to court records. He was taken to a nearby hospital with facial injuries, but it was believed he escaped any serious harm.
Mark Huizinga of Huizinga Rebuilding & Truck Parks provided the video taken by a surveillance camera at the business near the ramp at the exit. The video shows Cockerham’s car drive up the dirt embankment at the 142nd Avenue exit and fly over the overpass, landing on the other side. It hit a road sign but not any other vehicles.
Cockerham originally explained that he fell asleep behind the wheel, but admitted to drinking beforehand.
If convicted, Cockerham could be sentenced to up to a year in jail, as much as $1,000 in fines and possible community service.