Woman takes plea deal in fatal crash of Monroe County animal control officer

A woman who was accused of driving drunk in a crash that killed a Monroe County Animal Control officer last summer has agreed to a plea deal and will up to 17 years in prison.

Michell Dropulich, 47, agreed to plead no contest to the charge of second-degree homicide, the most serious of the three crimes she was charged with in connection to the death of Darrian Young.

The plea agreement will result in Dropulich spending up to 17 years in prison. According to the prosecuting attorney, Young's family and fiancé have been in regular contact and are 'fully supportive of the plea and sentence agreement.'

Young, 24, was in her Animal Control vehicle when Dropulich ran a red light at 80 mph. Young died at the hospital the next day. A week ago, her memory was preserved with the naming of a training facility after her.

According to the prosecutor's officer, Dropulich was driving a 2004 Dodge Caravan that morning and had been involved in several high-speed crashes that damaged property in both Wayne and Monroe counties. The prosecutor said she nearly hit a pedestrian in LaSalle and was driving down Front Street in Monroe with the bumper hanging off the front of the car and airbags deployed.

Eight minutes later, police said Dropulich was heading west on M-50 when she came upon Herr Road. Traffic was stopped for the red light but Dropulich drove onto the shoulder at a high speed to pass stopped traffic and then ran a red light, authorities said.

A mile-and-a-half later, she was still west on M-50 at Raisinville Road. That's where Young was on her way to work and was south on Riasinville Road when she went to turn left on M-50, unaware of the speeding minivan. As she went to turn left on a green light, Dropulich ran the red light and hit Young's car at 80 mph.

The posted speed limit in the area is 55 mph.

The crash was so violent, it pushed both vehicles through the intersection and into a Ford Explorer that was sitting in the left turn lane of M-50.

Deputies and Michigan State Police troopers immediately arrived and stabilized Young before medical personnel arrived and took over.

Dropulich, who was pinned in the vehicle, could be heard saying she "wasn't driving", according to police. She was the only person in the car and later said she had alcohol to celebrate the purchase of the van.

She smelled of alcohol and was later confirmed to have a BAC of .137 - almost double the legal limit - police said.

Dropulich will be sentenced on August 26 and family members are expected to speak at the sentencing.

Darrian Young, 24, was killed in June 2020 when a suspect drunk driver slammed into her car at 80 MPH.