Holland police said Eleazar Mendoza, 21, failed to stop at the red flashing light at the intersection of 17th Street and Pine Avenue at around 1:30 a.m. His car hit a car driven by 18-year-old Bethany Rozema, who died later at Holland Hospital.
Rozema was a 2011 graduate of Hamilton High School and a student at Baker College.
At Mendoza’s arraignment on a charge of operating while intoxicated, causing death, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Court records showed Mendoza did have a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record, WZZM-TV reported.
Hamilton High School Principal Doug Braschler said Rozema was very involved in school activities. He remembers her best for her passion for journalism.
“She’s one of those kids, as a high school principal, you’re going to remember,” he said. “Because what she did made a difference. She wrote stories for our school newspaper and yearbook.”
Mendoza was not injured in the crash, police said.