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Posted on Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 11:41 a.m.

Suspected drunk driver facing charges after collision flips car over in downtown Ann Arbor

By Sven Gustafson

Editor's note: This story has been updated.

An Ann Arbor woman suspected of drunken driving was arraigned Sunday on three charges after police said she struck another vehicle on a downtown street, flipped her car, fled the scene and later tried to report her car as stolen.


The silver Volkswagen Beetle came to a rest in the northbound lane of Main Street.

Courtesy of Abdulraheem Zakri

Kathryn Elizabeth Sheir, 32, was charged with one count each of making a false report of a felony, failing to stop and identify after a collision and operating while intoxicated. Bond was set at $10,000. Sheir faces a preliminary examination Dec. 13.

The drivers of both vehicles suffered minor injuries, police said.

The incident took place on southbound Main Street just south of Huron around 2:12 a.m. Saturday, shortly after the Midnight Madness sale downtown. After Sheir rear-ended another vehicle traveling southbound, her silver Volkswagen Beetle flipped over and struck two other parked vehicles before coming to a rest in the northbound lane, police Sgt. Mike Scherba said.

Witnesses reported seeing Sheir flee the scene on foot.

She was later contacted when police traced her license plate to her apartment on Harbor Way, near South Main Street and Eisenhower Parkway. There, she told police her car had been stolen.

Police then transported Sheir to the station to file a stolen vehicle report. Once there, other deputies and several witnesses — including passersby and a man who works as a bouncer at nearby Cafe Habana — identified her as the suspect in the collision.

Sheir's official blood-alcohol level won't be known until a lab analyzes her blood sample, Scherba said.

"There must have been enough probable cause outside of the blood draw to warrant charging for the OWI without the blood results," he said.

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Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

Glad it wasn't that young lady in the commercial for Volkswagen of Ann Arbor (Howard Cooper) that I have seen numerous times where she is driving that bug with Michigan colors around main street. lol

Roy Munson

Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 4:43 p.m.

If I did this with my Michigan license plate in downtown Columbus, I'd bet you wouldn't be seeing me for a while. I highly doubt I would have been able to flee on foot either. Hopefully Melinda Morris doesn't get this one.

Joseph Maino

Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 4:33 p.m.



Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.

Our laws need to be more extreme on drunk drivers. Sounds like this person is going to do time. Glad the others were not majorly hurt.


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

jns, why would anyone vote you down?!the laws DO need to be more extreme on people who drink and drive!

Ron Granger

Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 3:35 p.m.

You know the cops must take great satisfaction when they catch someone who has allegedly tried to cover a drunken hit and run by brazenly reporting the car as stolen. In fact, I'm sure it was all they could do to not salivate when she was filing the stolen car report.


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

Salivate? How about laugh out loud. This was a no brainer. Whats funny is that the girl thought her dumb story would work. Like the old...It's not my weed. Some guy just ran up and gave it to me I think I tried that one myself back in the day....ahahaha


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

Wow, one bad decision after another.

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

a devils advocate might say i drank long after my stolen car was smashed.PROVE!!!otherwise.


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 5:05 a.m.

The witnesses I will bring will place you at the scene of your so-called stolen car. I will then check to see EVERY place that you were at that would show a timeline of your evening It won't be that hard to put it all together.


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 12:51 a.m.

You might have been drinking upon creating your profile....

An Arborigine

Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 10:22 p.m.

How can they charge her w/DUI when no breath test was taken at the scene? Granted, I've never flipped a car downtown, ok?


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 1:20 a.m.

@Jimmy. Neither, but I have been observing these kinds of cases for many years. I'll bet it does not even go to trial. Likely it will be plead out.


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 1:15 a.m.

JPLewis, are you a lawyer or law student? It will be easy enough to convict her of a DUI. Watch.


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 12:51 a.m.

Good point. This is why when you are drunk it is advisable to run after a crash. Leaving the scene of an accident is a lesser charge than DUI. Any lawyer will tell you that.


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.

I agree johnnya2. She is likely in some deep trouble, but without a field sobriety test of some kind at the time and place of the accident, it will be very hard to convict her of drunk driving.


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 12:07 a.m.

@ JP Lewis, How hard do you think it will be to find out where she was drinking at? Once determined that she was at specific places it will be easy to back track to find out her condition at the time of the accident. Also, running from a scene is evidence of guilt, that can be used against her. Remember the standard is REASONABLE doubt. Of course even if not convicted on the DUI, she has two other charges pending against her. The judge will not sentence her lightly on those based on the totality of the situation.


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 11:43 p.m.

Not necessarily Jimmy. She could claim she was drinking after she got home. It will be almost impossible to prove she was drunk at the time of the accident if she claims this. Infer, yes. Prove, nope.


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 11 p.m.

They took a blood alcohol level at her residence. Once that result comes back, it will be easy to asertain within a resonable range what her blood alcohol level was at the time of the accident. This is done with simple math based on her weight and time elapsed since then accident. To charge her with a DUI for this will be a walk in the park for any entry level attorney.


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 10:35 p.m.

I am not sure; maybe she acted drunk? However, that may be hard to ascertain if one is stumbling away from a wreck. Maybe there were witnesses from the bar? Maybe someone spoke to her and smelled her breath before she ran off? It is indeed strange if it is just an assumption.


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 9:52 p.m.

This is a gross display of negligence and idiocy on the part of the perp. She should thank her luck stars that the injuries were only minor. Had she caused more significant trauma and then fled, I would be asking to throw the book at her without a doubt.

Seasoned Cit

Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 9:50 p.m.

It looks like she had her seatbelt fastened ! She should get some credit for that when the charge her for DUI and leaving the scene. Should get her a couple days taken off her jail time.


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 9:49 p.m.

For the VW to roll over depends on several factors. The shape of the vehicle that the VW rear-ended, speed of the VW, the point that the bumpers, fenders came in contact, etc. It could have been a glancing off center hit, enough to cause the VW to start to spin out and the tires could have caught a pothole that obstructed the yaw of the sideslipping tire. Once the tire is obstructed , the car can roll rather easily. It's a little hard to describe but a hit off center like the right front of the VW hitting the left rear of a parked car would cause the VW to rotate in a clock-wise direction. The rotation and sudden shift from the original straight forward direction will cause the VW to shift the center of mass and be unbalanced to the point that it easily tips. A pothole is not necessarily needed to roll the VW but it can make the roll inevitable. The driver factor is something else. Steering and brake, or accelerator use can also contribute to the car rolling over.


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 6:44 a.m.

Thanks Mr. Wizard.

Mike D.

Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 8:56 p.m.

An important fact was left out: the Beetle had Ohio plates, which explains everything. She must have been flying. A red Honda CR-V, which I am assuming is the car she rear-ended, was totaled. A red Jeep Cherokee parked in the northbound lanes had significant front-end damage and had to be towed away. And the silver Subaru seen in the foreground of the photo above is my friend's car; it also was damaged significantly on the front and back. It made for a long, cold night of waiting for the scene to be cleared so we could leave. I hope this idiot gets time for this. I will never again leave a car on the mean streets of this town on a weekend night at 2 am. Miracle that nobody was injured seriously.


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.

Why did the police go to an Ann Arbor address after tracing the plates?


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 12:49 a.m.

German engineering and O-H-I-O partying.

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

"Police then transported the woman, who was born in 1979, to the station to file a stolen vehicle report." Good to know she wasn't born in 1978 or, heaven forbid, 1981.


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 7:42 p.m.

I'll bet the image of the upside-down VW has been photoshopped.


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 12:48 a.m.

Can you tell by the pixels? Have you seen 'shops before?

music to my ear

Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

do you think the officer believed her, NOT. take responsibility for your actions and thank god no one was seriously hurt.


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 7:01 p.m.

So much for free wine at Midnight Madness...

Chase Ingersoll

Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 6:31 p.m.

Main Streets loss will be AA gain of another highly qualified member.


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 6:24 p.m.

Slug bug! Extra ten points for being flipped over!


Mon, Dec 3, 2012 : 1:31 a.m.

Haha, Silver punch buggy, no hit backs.

Linda Peck

Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 6:17 p.m.

When I see drivers careening down Huron Street on their way to who knows where, I wonder how long it will be before they are stopped by a slower moving vehicle or tree, etc. Where are these drives coming from that they believe they can drive 50 miles an hour on city streets? Of course, I am observing from my own experience here, and I did not see this accident on Saturday. On Main Street, after midnight, the streets empty out and perhaps it was too tempting not to fly on through. A person does not flip a car rolling along Main Street at 20 or 25 miles an hour, do they?


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 5:53 p.m.

A fitting end to midnite madness <---. Darn it, should have driven the truck. What is silver, has four wheels, and spins like a top? "Really officer, she got me toasted, beat me up, stole my looks, my identity, my keys and car, went shopping, danced with some loser, argued with the bouncer, flipped my bug, then returned my ID and keys and ran away. Can I go now?"

Ron Granger

Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 5:39 p.m.

It is great that there were no serious injuries. I always wonder when I read reports of leaving the scene, and hit and run, if it is the first time the person has ever done that. Especially if they are older, have some life experience, and "should know better". And especially in cases of DUI. I often suspect it is not their "first rodeo". If these allegations are true, I hope this carries some serious consequences. Was there texting or phone use involved? I'm sure the police will check that.


Sun, Dec 2, 2012 : 5:26 p.m.

I am glad any injuries were minor, but regret even those, of course. It will be interesting to see, after appropriate investigation is completed and (if appropriate) findings submitted to the prosecutor, if SHE will be charged and tried on the false report filing, unlike (last I read) these two: