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Man charged with drunk driving in fatal crash

WZZM-TV • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:24 AM

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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