A Dearborn Heights police officer who crashed his cruiser into a vehicle, killing the 59-year-old Wixom man behind the wheel, has been charged with a felony that could put him behind bars for 15 years.
Larry Little, 32, was charged Tuesday with reckless driving causing death in connection with the crash that killed Timothy Turner.
The crash happened at about 8:20 p.m. Jan. 1 near Van Born and Pelham roads in Taylor. Little was driving a marked police car with his partner at a high rate of speed in a 40 mph zone when he struck the vehicle Turner was driving, according to Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.
The patrol vehicle was eastbound on Van Born and entered the intersection of Pelham, striking the Lexus ES 350 driven by Turner, who was heading west on Van Born, attempting to make a left turn onto southbound Pelham.
According to Worthy, the police car sped through the intersection without its emergency lights or sirens on.
Turner remained in the hospital for several days before being taken off life support.
The two officers were extricated from the patrol vehicle and taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Both were later released.
Allen Park officers assisted in the investigation of the crash scene that was later turned over to Michigan State Police.
Little originally was charged with moving violation causing death, a misdemeanor punishable by a year in jail and/or $2,000 fine if convicted. His attorney filed a motion to dismiss the charge, which was denied by 23rd District Judge Geno Salomone. In his ruling, Salomone said that operating a police car without lights and sirens should be charged as a reckless act rather than as negligence.
Little has worked for the department for about two years and has been on paid administrative leave pending the case’s outcome, according to Police Chief Lee Gavin.
“He’s a good officer; we support him,” Gavin said in July. “But someone died as a result of some decisions and someone has to be responsible.”
Little is expected to be arraigned in Taylor’s 23rd District Court on Monday.
After he’s arraigned on the new felony charge, the initial misdemeanor charge will be dismissed.