Tips, cruiser video find suspect in Ferndale hit-and-run

Tips and cruiser video helped to find a suspect in a Ferndale hit-and-run accident.

- A 27-year-old woman has been arraigned for fleeing the scene of a crime after a hit and run accident in Ferndale.

Shaking and emotional, 27-year-old Gina Hovell of Gibraltar listened to a judge charge her with failing to stop at the scene of an accident, resulting in serious impairment or death.

"We would like to enter a plea of not guilty," her lawyer said.

Hovell was arrested at her home Sunday morning after police received a tip from someone they say, saw the hit-and-run on the news and spoke with Hovell.

"She saw the car, she had talked to Ms. Hovell, who told her that she was involved in an accident with a deer," said Det./Lt. William Wilson of Ferndale police. "This woman looked at the car, didn't believe that's what happened."

The hit and run early Saturday morning was captured on camera by a police cruiser sitting nearby. Although there was a green light, police say Hovell failed to yield for a group of pedestrians crossing Woodward near 9 Mile.

"There's a lot of lives shattered right now from this incident," Wilson said.

Police located Hovell's vehicle left in a parking lot in Farmington Hills.

"She left work at about 10 o'clock that night, went across the street to a local bar and stayed there until closing time," Wilson said.

Police also say they have surveillance video showing Hovell leaving the bar intoxicated, then getting behind the wheel five minutes later.

"Total driving distance was about one block, so, it does demonstrate the dangers of drinking and driving and how quick things can go wrong," Wilson said.

The 30 woman who was hit is still listed in critical condition.

"Everything from what I understand is touch and go. It's very serious. Unfortunately there's a lot of people hurt in this incident," Wilson said.

Hovell has a history of other more minor traffic violations. She will be held on a $25,000 cash or surety bond until her next court date.

She faces up to five years in prison if convicted on this felony charge, and she will likely face even more time if the victim passes away.


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