Man charged with drunk driving in fatal crash

Police said a man charged in the death of a young woman was driving drunk when he crashed into her car early Thursday in Holland.
Feb 24, 2012


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.


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