Driver involved in double-fatal accident in Shelby Township arraigned on two misdemeanors

A Westland man appeared in court last Friday where he faced a judge after being accused of causing the deaths of two women in a violent crash on M-53.

Jose Eugeno Medina-Hernandez, 33, was driving a box truck when he rear-ended one car, causing a chain reaction with two other vehicles and leading to the deaths of a 63-year-old and an 88-year-old. 

Both victims were in the car that was initially struck by Medina-Hernandez. It happened just before 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 6.

Medina-Hernandez did not have a commercial driver's license at the time of the crash - however, he did have a valid Michigan chauffer's license, the Michigan Department of State said. According to records from the department, Medina-Hernandez would have been required by law to produce proof of legal presence in the U.S. before being issued a license.

Medina-Hernandez's current status within the country is as an asylum seeker within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Systemic Alien Verification Entitelement Program.

The aftermath of a fatal accident on M-53 in Shelby Township that left two people dead.

"I understand traffic fatalities happen. People have accidents, and from accidents come deaths – but when people aren’t supposed to be in the country to begin with because they didn’t follow procedure and proper protocol, why is that we have innocent people that are here legally now finding themselves, and their family, with a tragic incident like this?" said Macomb County Prosecutor Peter Lucido.

Appearing in Shelby Township District Court on on June 7, Medina-Hernandez was charged with two counts of moving violation causing death; both are one-year misdemeanors. 

Jose Eugeno Medina-Hernandez, 33, of Westland.

The box truck Medina-Hernandez was driving was rented from enterprise.

It’s unclear if he was driving it for personal use or for work. It it was for work, his employer could be held accountable.

"The buck stops right with the employer. They knew they should not have broken the law as it relates to immigration, Lucido said. "You’re not legal unless you have the proper paperwork that is appropriate to work in this country."

The magistrate presiding over the court set his bond at $250,000 cash/surety. No further court date has been set.

A previous version of this story cited police that inaccurately reported Medina-Hernandez as living in the U.S. illegally. The story has been updated to reflect the individual's legal status in the country.