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Posted on Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

Chelsea man faces charges for fatal rollover crash

By Kyle Feldscher

A 26-year-old man is charged with seven felonies for driving under the influence during an August crash where one man was killed and will be back in court next month.

David Fishburn, from the Chelsea area, is facing four counts of operating while intoxicated causing death and a charge each of operating while intoxicated, operating while impaired and operating in the presence of a controlled substance, records show. The charges stem from an Aug. 8 crash on Lima Center Road in Dexter Township.

Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office deputy Sgt. Geoffrey Fox said Fishburn was driving a car at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 8 with four people in it on Lima Center Road south of Island Lake Road. Fox said Fishburn tested positive for marijuana in his blood at the time of the crash.

“He was driving on a dirt road too fast, rolled the vehicle and one of the passengers died,” Fox said.

The passenger was Christopher Boyer, a 24-year-old man from the Dexter area. Fishburn also was injured in the crash and had to be treated at the University of Michigan Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

The criminal case was open on Fishburn until mid-February when he was arrested and arraigned. According to court records, charges were filed in the case on Feb. 12 and was arraigned the following day on the charges.

Fishburn was released on a $75,000 personal recognizance bond, records show. He was scheduled to be in court for a preliminary exam Tuesday, but that hearing was adjourned until 8:30 a.m. April 9, records show.

Attorney Joe Simon represents Fishburn, according to court records. When reached by Friday, Simon declined to comment on the case.

Fishburn faces a maximum of 15 years in prison on each charge of operating under the influence causing death.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 4:42 p.m.

Kyle - Thank you for this update. I understand that the facts come out slowly in a case. On a different rollover accident - one there were several articles about around when it happened... Did you ever get an update on the rollover accident that happened last summer. The one where the vehicle was turned in about a week after the accident happened?


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

"...where one man was killed and will be back in court next month." A comma would have helped.


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

People v. Feezel, "We hold that 11-carboxy-THC is not a schedule 1 controlled substance under MCL 333.7212 [controlled substances act] and, therefore, a person cannot be prosecuted under MCL 257.625(8) [drugged driving act] for operating a motor vehicle with any amount of 11-carboxy-THC in his or her system,"


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 3:16 p.m.

thanks clownfish, I had not read this


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

What made the road conditions so hazardous in August?


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 4:34 p.m.

Ah okay. Thank you for clearing that up. I am familiar with that phenomenon.


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

Dancing - Apparently washboard road conditions were present indicated in previous comment by Heady99. Have you ever driven down a back road and suddenly felt like you'd just ran over a series of speed bumps? Did you wonder what they're doing in a road that seems to be in the middle of nowhere? The phenomenon you've experienced is what's called a "washboard road." When a car travels on an unpaved road, a wavy pattern will ultimately develop. At first, tiny ripples form, and then they get larger as more cars pass over them. Whether you're traveling on dirt roads in Dexter or Chelsea, washboard roads -- with a wavy pattern that resembles an old-fashioned metal washboard -- are a common occurrence. On a poorly maintained washboard road, your car can easily drift to the left or right and in some cases fish tail unexpectedly and with the potential to lose control.


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 1:39 a.m.

I live out near this road and happen to take it earlier in the day of this accident - the road was in horrible condition - very washboard like - I struggled and was only trying to go 30 mph. Please everyone this has been a horrible situation where everyone is a loser - please refrain from saying negative things!


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 10:50 a.m.

When a road is in horrible condition a responsible driver keeps a low speed.


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 1:38 a.m.

I remember that accident the road conditions were horrendous shame on the washtenaw county road commission.


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

This is why the MIchigan Motor Vehicle Code specifically states "Sec. 627. (1) A person operating a vehicle on a highway shall operate that vehicle at a careful and prudent speed not greater than nor less than is reasonable and proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the highway and of any other condition then existing. A person shall not operate a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than that which will permit a stop within the assured, clear distance ahead." This basically means that you need to SLOW DOWN if the road is poorly maintained, if the weather is bad, if your visibility is affected,etc. You can't blame the weather or roads when you crash because you failed to take into account yours and your vehicle's ability to handle conditions.


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 11:07 p.m.

@Michigan: I'm sorry you're going through such a difficult time with people you obviously care very deeply for. However, this is a new story in the community of which Kyle has every right to report on. You're being quite unfair to Kyle actually. His personal opinion of Mr. Fishburn isn't found anywhere in the article. He's simply relaying the facts as they were relayed to him, presumably by the courts. Furthermore, if Kyle hadn't made mention of the mugshot, the comments would be filled with readers demanding it. So, if you're upset about that, perhaps you should take it up with the members in the community and not Kyle.


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

You're welcome :)

Kyle Feldscher

Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 1:22 a.m.

Thank you, dancing. I appreciate this.


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.

Kyle, Being someone who personally knows everyone who was involved in this accident, I find it disgusting that you write this article in a manor where Fishburn is made out to be a criminal. He is going through more then you or I could ever imagine. By no means should you ever post his mugshot, it has no relevance to this article what-so-ever... you're taking a very sad, unfortunate event, and turning it into another over mediated news report. Respect should go out to all those involved, and I really have no idea why you felt an update on this case was import and needed. Also you have some of your facts incorrect, so I advise you get them right before posting an article.


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 11:58 p.m.

Again. What are the correct facts then?


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 9:59 p.m.

Kyle-- I am a close friend to everyone who was involved and affected by this tragic ACCIDENT. Being friends with both individuals involved, it sickens me that you write an article in a manor where it makes Fishburn out to be a criminal. Also, you have a few facts incorrect in your story, I suggest you get them straight before you post an article, where it defiles a young mans reputation who is already dealing with more than you are I could imagine.


Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 2:40 a.m.

The article doesn't say he is a convicted criminal. It says he is charged with seven felonies.

Kyle Feldscher

Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 1:21 a.m.

michiganresident - I'm very sorry for what you're going through. However, these are the facts of the case made public at this point. I'm sure more will come out during the court process. You can rest assure we will be covering those as well. Again, I'm very sorry for your loss.


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 10:23 p.m.

It's very easy for people who aren't involved, or personally affected to write an article where it stereotypes those who actually are involved. I have read other articles on Ann, where I know who is being written about, and the journalists tend to have facts incorrect. Maybe this is so their stories are more appealing? I can't imagine what you and your friends are going through. I'm very sorry.


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

Well ? What are the facts then? Did the driver NOT have dope in his bloodstream? Was he not directly responsible for someone's death, whether he had illegal substances in his body or not? He was driving, right?


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 7:19 p.m.

Kyle, Can you clarify the charges and how they were totaled? How does he get four charges of "while intoxicated causing death" when only one person was killed? Was he perhaps charged with multiple counts of operating while intoxicated causing injury? Also isn't operating while impaired a lesser included offense of operating while intoxicated; meaning that he is unlikely to be found guilty of both?

Kyle Feldscher

Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 1:20 a.m.

Youwhine - I asked Fox about this and he said he believed it's because there were four passengers in the car. However, only one person died. I'll be following up with prosecutors to get a better explanation. The sergeant did not seem sure.


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

I'm not sure of this individual's state of mind, but I will say this: I've heard conflicting accounts of whether or not blood tests can conclusively say for sure if a person was stoned while driving, or had smoked the day before and was stone cold sober at the time of a crash. Very disturbing to think that you can be sent to prison for driving under the influence when you weren't.


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 7:48 p.m.

Even if he was sober, his driving actions killed someone. He should go to prison for that. If the legal system would properly ticket and arrest and convict for bad driving then maybe things like this wouldn't happen.


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

Be safe, and avoid recreational drugs?

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 6:08 p.m.

I requested Mr. Fishburn's mugshot from Fox. Their system was having trouble this morning and, should it come back up, Fox said he'll pass it along to me.

Boo Radley

Sat, Mar 9, 2013 : 5:42 p.m.

EightySeven - I don't know how long he was in the hospital, but if he is arrested and charged while in hospital, the county (and taxpayers) would have to pay his hospital bills. It can also take a long time to get toxicology results back if the lab is backed up and there is no priority need for the results.

Kyle Feldscher

Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 7:02 p.m.

EightySeven: The reason I mention it is because I know a lot of people ask for mugshots of accused people when they are not posted. I just wanted to explain why that wasn't here. As I said, the reporting system at the WCSO was down when I called and Fox didn't have access to an arrest narrative at the time. We will follow up.


Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 6:47 p.m.

Kyle I'm sorry but I don't understand thee importance of putting his mugshot up here. Please help me understand the rational of posting mugshots. What does it really add to this story? I really think you should try and dig deeper and see why it took so long to bring charges. This crash happened almost 7 months ago and I believe the suspect was always available to the Prosecutors office and the police, meaning he was never on the lam. Please gather more relevant facts to this story first before just slapping a up a mugshot.