SCHOOLCRAFT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The St. Joseph County sheriff was arrested early Sunday for driving drunk after a crash on US-131 south of Schoolcraft, Michigan State Police say.
The Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office says Mark Lillywhite, 47, of Three Rivers, was booked into the jail around 6:30 a.m. Sunday and released around 4:30 p.m. that day “per protocol.”
The crash happened around 2:20 a.m. on southbound US-131 near West YZ Avenue in Schoolcraft Township. Michigan State Police say Lillywhite was headed south when he rear-ended another SUV, pushing both vehicles off the road. All injuries were minor.
Witnesses told MSP that Lillywhite’s SUV didn’t have its headlights on before the crash.
News 8 has not been able to confirm if the Traverse was a county-owned vehicle.
The sheriff’s office says that as soon as deputies responded to the scene, they called in MSP, who took over.
Troopers noticed Lillywhite seemed to have been drinking. They performed field sobriety tests and Lillywhite was arrested.
He was jailed on charges of operating while intoxicated and possession of a firearm while intoxicated, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office said. It’s not yet clear when he will be arraigned.
MSP is still investigating. This includes testing evidence seized at the crash scene, which could take several days. Once the investigation is over, troopers will turn the case over to the Kalamazoo County prosecutor who will decide on charges.
Lillywhite’s driving record shows he was involved in a 2016 crash in which he failed to stop within an assured clear distance, after which he took a basic driver improvement course. The record lists another crash in November 2022 but shows Lillywhite did not take any hazardous action. No one was injured in either of those crashes.