Loris man indicted in fatal 2010 crash that killed 28-year-old passenger

troot@thesunnews.comFebruary 13, 2013 

— An Horry County grand jury indicted a Loris man on charges related to a fatal crash that killed his 28-year-old passenger in a 2010 crash in North Myrtle Beach, according to court records.

Michael A. Butler, 33, of Loris was indicted on felony driving under the influence with death results and felony DUI with great bodily injury in the crash that happened Feb. 16, 2010 on U.S. 17 just north of the Cherry Grove exit, according to indictments released Friday.

Preliminary autopsy results showed that his passenger, 28-year-old Mitchell White of Loris died from multiple trauma , authorities said. White was not wearing a seat belt.

Police said Butler smelled of alcohol, slurred his speech, was unsteady on his feet and got in the way of emergency workers at the crash site after he was initially treated by EMS, according to a police report. An officer conducted three field sobriety tests on Butler at the crash site, and he failed them.

Butler submitted to a Breathalyzer test at the police department and blew a 0.19, according to the report. South Carolina’s legal limit is 0.08.

The collision forced the closure of northbound lanes of U.S. 17 for about two hours following the crash so troopers with the S.C. Highway Patrol’s Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team could investigate the crash.

Butler was driving a 2004 Mercury Sable when the crash occurred, according to the police report. Officers reported that Butler was traveling south in the northbound lanes of U.S. 17 and struck two vehicles about 3 a.m. Feb, 16, 2010.

Butler’s vehicle struck a Hyundai, and "the momentum from the impact carried the first two vehicles into a third vehicle, which was a white truck, " according to the report. There were two people inside the Hyundai, who were extricated from the vehicle by firefighters and transported to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center for treatment.

The report showed that Butler asked for medical treatment after he was taken to the police department, and he was taken to Seacoast Medical Center where he was treated for cuts to his face.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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