Driver in car/train crash faces charges

GWINN – A Gwinn woman arrested after a car-train crash near Little Lake in southern Marquette County last week has been arraigned on three charges stemming from the incident, which sent four people to Marquette General Hospital.

Samantha Jo French, 24, was arraigned in Marquette County District Court Monday on two counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, causing serious injury, and one count of possession of marijuana.

French is lodged in the Marquette County Jail in lieu of a $305,000 cash bond. She is scheduled for a pre-trial conference at 2 p.m. next Wednesday.

Forsyth Township Police Department Chief Tim Rector declined Tuesday to release the names of the additional passengers hurt in the March 28 crash. Police said French was driving the car.

She was taken to MGH after the incident where she was treated and released and then arrested.

“There was three of them that were hurt badly,” Rector said. “Two minors injured quite severely and the one adult was, too.”

Police said the crash was reported at 5:45 p.m. and occurred on Ski Hill Road. When officers arrived, they found the four passengers in the vehicle with various injuries.

From witness statements gathered at the scene, police said it appeared the driver of the car had struck a large water puddle and then continued onto the railroad tracks into the path of an oncoming train, which struck the car.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.