SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – The aftermath of a tragic M-53 collision in Shelby Township has left the community reeling, with the added revelation that the alleged perpetrator, Jose Eugeno Medina-Hernandez, is an illegal immigrant.

What happened?

On Thursday, June 6, 2024, Medina-Hernandez, a 33-year-old resident of Westland, was behind the wheel of a box truck traveling southbound on M-53 when he rear-ended a Buick Verano around 12:30 p.m., setting off a chain reaction involving two additional vehicles.

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The impact claimed the lives of the occupants of the Buick, 88-year-old Nancy Richmond and her daughter, 63-year-old Crystal Brunn, both senior citizens, who were pronounced dead at the scene. The incident also closed southbound M-53 for several hours.

According to the Macomb County Prosecutor’s office, Medina-Hernandez was charged with two counts of Moving Violation Causing Death (one year misdemeanors and a $2,000 fine). He was arraigned in 41A Shelby Twp. District Court on Friday where Magistrate James Verploeg set bond at $250,000 cash/surety.

Illegal immigrant charged in connection with accident.

The gravity of the situation was further compounded by the discovery that Medina-Hernandez lacks legal status in the United States with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) being alerted for further investigation. According to online records with the district court, he has an “do not release” DHS U.S. Immigration retainer.

Macomb County Prosecutor Peter J. Lucido said about the situation, “Our office is committed to ensuring that justice is served and that the responsible party is held accountable for their actions in this incident. We extend our deepest condolences to the families affected by this senseless loss.”

Shelby Twp. Police Chief Robert Shelide also expressed his sympathies to the victims and the families saying, “This was definitely a preventable accident that took the lives of a loving mother and daughter” adding “I am distraught over the fact that the suspect, Jose Eugeno Medina-Hernandez, was found to have no legal status in the country.”

About the victims…

According to online information, Crystal’s husband Brian passed away 12 years ago. She is survived by many friends and family members including her two sons, Brandon and Matthew, and a handful of grandchildren. There is a tribute to her in an online You Tube video here.

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Crystal’s mother, Nancy, can be seen on Facebook holding a dog and had posted messages about supporting veterans and had other animal, pro-police, christian and patriotic memes on her page. Ironically, she also posted about not giving welfare to illegal immigrants when we have so many homeless veterans in the country.

As the community mourns the loss of Richmond and Brunn, their deaths stand as a sobering testament to the devastating consequences of illegal immigration and reckless behavior on our roads.

In light of the chaos at our border and unchecked illegal immigration, on Wednesday, June 5th, Republican lawmakers in the Michigan Freedom Caucus introduced a five-bill package along with a resolution to empower law enforcement to crack down on what they call “widespread illegal immigration.” Their bills would require all Michigan law enforcement agencies to comply with U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement detainers and make it a state-level criminal offense to be present in Michigan without official legal status.

The defendant’s scheduled pretrial appearance before Judge Douglas Shepherd is set for June 25, marking the beginning of a legal process fraught with implications for both immigration policy and criminal justice.