COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Bond has been set at $100,000 for a Branch County man who authorities said fled the scene of a serious injury accident last month. 21-year old Dustin Powell of Union City was booked yesterday at the county jail and arraigned in District Court for the five year felony charge in connection with the crash in which his pickup truck collided head on with a car in Union Township in the early morning hours of March 24th. Deputies said Powell’s vehicle crossed the centerline of West Girard Road and struck the car driven by 38-year old Scott Shelts, also of Union City. Shelts was trapped in the wreckage and suffered fractures and a closed head injury. He was airlifted from the scene to Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.
To make matters worse, several days after getting out of the hospital the next week, Shelts house was gutted by fire, a blaze he escaped without further injury. Powell turned himself in to Village Police in Union City about 12 hours after the accident. Further more serious legal issues await Powell since Branch County Prosecutor Ralph Kimble has brought a habitual offender charge in the case and it carries a maximum life penalty. 3 years ago this month, Powell plead guilty to home invasion and assault charges after breaking into an apartment in Union City and received a suspended jail sentence and 2 years probation.