Fatal crash investigation leads deputies to drug arrest
MASON COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- An investigation into a fatal car crash has led to the arrest of a 52-year-old Mason County man.
Paul James Saya was arrested Tuesday night and is charged with possession of marijuana/synthetic equivalents and operating and maintaining a drug house.
The deadly car crash happened October, 2017 near the intersection of US-31 and Sugar Grove Road. Henry MacDougall, 16, died in the crash. While Mason County Sheriff’s deputies were investigating they accident, they recovered a Snapchat video showing the teenager using marijuana at a house, several hours before the crash.
They got a search warrant of the North Tuttle Road home and were led to Saya. The 52-year-old could face up to 2 years in prison or a fine of $25,000.
A cross and memorial is at the corner of US-31 and Sugar Grove Road where the accident happened. Deputies say McDougall drove through a stop sign before being hit by a semi-truck. The 16-year-old died a day after the crash. According to Sheriff Kim Cole, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) were found his body at the time of the accident.
“That’s why we investigate these types of situations to see what happened and see how we can prevent these types of situations from happening to others,” said Sheriff Cole. “It was a terrible evening in October for a lot of people and obviously for the young man, his mom and dad, and the truck driver.”
Deputies have a warrant out for Saya’s son, who could face the same charges.
“The charges from this case do not reflect the death of the young man, they are just the events prior to the crash,” Sheriff Cole said.