STANDISH, MI — An East Tawas man has pleaded guilty-as-charged to crashing into a bicycle-riding teenager, fatally injuring him in the process.
Mark Elliott, 63, on Wednesday, July 14, appeared before Arenac County District Judge Richard E. Vollbach Jr. and pleaded guilty to moving violation causing death. The charge is a one-year misdemeanor.
Elliott’s charge stems from a crash that occurred the afternoon of Aug. 31 at the intersection of U.S. 23 and Beach Road in East Tawas. Michigan State Police troopers arrived at the crash scene to find a northbound 2019 Dodge Ram driven by Elliott had crashed into a bicycle ridden by 16-year-old Dohnovan X. Newcome.
Newcome had been riding his bike through a crosswalk when the Ram struck him, police previously said.
Newcome was taken from the scene to a hospital, where he died of his wounds.
Elliott was prosecuted by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, as local prosecutors had recused themselves due to a familiarity with Elliott and requested a special prosecutor handle the case.
“While no court outcome will ever offset the pain inflicted on Dohnovan’s family and friends, Mr. Elliott’s admission of guilt in this tragic case avoids a drawn-out trial,” said Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. “It is my hope this plea provides a sense of justice and relief for Dohnovan’s loved ones.”
Newcome was a junior at Oscoda High School at the time of his death, according to his obituary. Earlier on the day of his death, he had begun the automotive program at the IRESA Tech Center in Tawas City.
“Dohnovan was enthralled with everything about cars and was so excited about learning even more through the Tech Center program,” his obituary reads. “He used his 16 years to the fullest and had wisdom and compassion beyond his years!”
Newcome enjoyed playing soccer, working on computers, playing car games on his Xbox and spending time outdoors, including cross-country skiing. As a youngster, he hunted and collected bugs. In his teen years, he taught himself how to play guitar.
“He developed a love for the band Metallica and discovered that he and his mom had the same taste in heavy metal music, both secular and Christian,” his obituary continues. Newcome was a member of the Oscoda Baptist Church and volunteered at the Oscoda Wurtsmith Airport’s Air Museum.
Judge Vollbach is to sentence Elliott at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 12.
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