Driver sought in fatal accident

Police are looking for the driver of a car that may have been involved in a fatal traffic accident Sunday in Hartland Township. Full Story
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Missing Jay Grad

Mount Pleasant, MI

#21 Apr 24, 2007
I don't think a day goes by that I don't think about him. I am sure everyone is missing him as much as I do!
Driver Plead Guilty

Pontiac, MI

#22 Jun 1, 2007
All, The driver plead guilty to leaving the scene of a fatal accident. She will serve 1 year in jail, and lose her driver's license for 1 year after her release. Additionally she will perform 200 hours of community service, and be on 5 years probation.
Chinese Fabio

Davison, MI

#23 Aug 10, 2007
http://www.state.mi.us/mdoc/asp/otis2results....

I believe that is the person. A very light sentence. She is doing a year in jail.

Since: Aug 07

Grand Haven, MI

#24 Aug 16, 2007
link don't work...
Forever missing jason

Detroit, MI

#25 Feb 29, 2008
Woman gets year of jail in road fatality
By Lisa Roose-Church
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
Relatives of a Farmington Hills man killed in a car accident last year said they were upset that they would have a lifetime of anguish while a Davison driver would spend just a year in jail after she left the man like "roadkill."
Courtney Louise Zalack, 24, who pleaded guilty to failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing death, was sentenced Thursday to five years of probation, with the first year in the Livingston County Jail, for the July 16 accident that killed Jason Gradinac, 28.
Gradinac's sister, Jessica Smith, called Zalack "very selfish and careless."
"She left him on the side of the road as roadkill," she said. "Even in his last moments, he put the defendant's safety first, which cost him his life."
Zalack was traveling southbound on U.S. 23 when she said she missed the Highland Road (M-59) exit at about 5:40 p.m. July 16, and suddenly slowed to use an "authorized vehicles only" area on the highway to tur her vehicle around.
Gradinac, who was driving a 2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer southbound on U.S. 23, lost control as he tried to avoid a collision. His SUV left the roadway and rolled at least twice before stopping on its side on the shoulder of the highway about a half-mile south of M-59, witnesses said.
Police later learned that the two vehicles did not make contact, but the driver of the Monte Carlo later identified as Zalack did not stop and proceeded to exit the expressway at M-59.
Besides sentencing Zalack to jail and probation, Livingston County Circuit Judge David Reader ordered that she not be released early from probation and that she have no driving privileges for one year after she is released from jail. She also must serve 200 hours of community service, including attending five victim-impact panels.
Defense attorney Michael Manley said his client did not know there was an accident.
"There was no contact with the two cars," he said. "To accuse this young lady of leaving Jason on the side of the road like a raccoon or roadkill is totally, totally not true," he said.
"She made one of those bonehead mistakes you wish you could take back," Manley said. "She's going to dedicate her life to the memory of Jason."
Zalack, who apologized to the victim's family, reportedly told probation officers that she was traveling to a friend's home that day and she missed her exit. She said she did not know how much farther the next exit would be, so she decided to illegally turn around.
When asked if she checked on the other driver, Zalack said, "No."
Witnesses said they "saw dust flying" and a "cloud of smoke" during the incident. One witness also said she thought Zalack's car "appeared to be speeding to cut someone off" while another said the vehicle "flew past me" when she stopped to help the victim.
Gradinac, who was wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the SUV. He was taken by ambulance to the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, where he was pronounced dead.
"He was my sun, my moon and my north star," Jason's mother, Milka, said in a Croatian accent. "I am sentenced in Alcatraz on (the) bottom floor for the rest of my life.... He's never coming back (to) put his arm around my shoulder and tell me,'Mom, I love you.' "
Smith said her brother was "the total package" a funny, sensitive, humble and gorgeous man who was loved by all who knew him. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan and had earned a master's degree from Purdue University.
Gradinac, a General Motors Corp. employee, was engaged to be married and enjoyed doing impersonations, with actor Jim Carrey being one of his favorites. He also ran for charities and was training for a marathon in Detroit when he was killed.
"He loved, lived and laughed," his sister said.
Contact Daily Press & Argus reporter Lisa Roose-Church at lrchurch@
gannett.com .
Forever missing jason

Detroit, MI

#26 Feb 29, 2008
Woman gets year of jail in road fatality
By Lisa Roose-Church
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
Relatives of a Farmington Hills man killed in a car accident last year said they were upset that they would have a lifetime of anguish while a Davison driver would spend just a year in jail after she left the man like "roadkill."
Courtney Louise Zalack, 24, who pleaded guilty to failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing death, was sentenced Thursday to five years of probation, with the first year in the Livingston County Jail, for the July 16 accident that killed Jason Gradinac, 28.


Gradinac's sister, Jessica Smith, called Zalack "very selfish and careless."
"She left him on the side of the road as roadkill," she said. "Even in his last moments, he put the defendant's safety first, which cost him his life."
Zalack was traveling southbound on U.S. 23 when she said she missed the Highland Road (M-59) exit at about 5:40 p.m. July 16, and suddenly slowed to use an "authorized vehicles only" area on the highway to tur her vehicle around.
Gradinac, who was driving a 2002 Chevrolet TrailBlazer southbound on U.S. 23, lost control as he tried to avoid a collision. His SUV left the roadway and rolled at least twice before stopping on its side on the shoulder of the highway about a half-mile south of M-59, witnesses said.
Police later learned that the two vehicles did not make contact, but the driver of the Monte Carlo later identified as Zalack did not stop and proceeded to exit the expressway at M-59.
Besides sentencing Zalack to jail and probation, Livingston County Circuit Judge David Reader ordered that she not be released early from probation and that she have no driving privileges for one year after she is released from jail. She also must serve 200 hours of community service, including attending five victim-impact panels.
Defense attorney Michael Manley said his client did not know there was an accident.
"There was no contact with the two cars," he said. "To accuse this young lady of leaving Jason on the side of the road like a raccoon or roadkill is totally, totally not true," he said.
"She made one of those bonehead mistakes you wish you could take back," Manley said. "She's going to dedicate her life to the memory of Jason."
Zalack, who apologized to the victim's family, reportedly told probation officers that she was traveling to a friend's home that day and she missed her exit. She said she did not know how much farther the next exit would be, so she decided to illegally turn around.
When asked if she checked on the other driver, Zalack said, "No."
Witnesses said they "saw dust flying" and a "cloud of smoke" during the incident. One witness also said she thought Zalack's car "appeared to be speeding to cut someone off" while another said the vehicle "flew past me" when she stopped to help the victim.
Gradinac, who was wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the SUV. He was taken by ambulance to the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, where he was pronounced dead.
"He was my sun, my moon and my north star," Jason's mother, Milka, said in a Croatian accent. "I am sentenced in Alcatraz on (the) bottom floor for the rest of my life.... He's never coming back (to) put his arm around my shoulder and tell me,'Mom, I love you.' "
Smith said her brother was "the total package" a funny, sensitive, humble and gorgeous man who was loved by all who knew him. He was a graduate of the University of Michigan and had earned a master's degree from Purdue University.
Gradinac, a General Motors Corp. employee, was engaged to be married and enjoyed doing impersonations, with actor Jim Carrey being one of his favorites. He also ran for charities and was training for a marathon in Detroit when he was killed.
"He loved, lived and laughed," his sister said.
Contact Daily Press & Argus reporter Lisa Roose-Church
FSCK39

Port Huron, MI

#27 Mar 17, 2008
This was a freak accident. A shame, but an accident.
FSCK39

Port Huron, MI

#28 Mar 17, 2008
A small mistake, with a serious consequence.

Since: Aug 07

Grand Haven, MI

#29 Mar 17, 2008
Well if that's true, she should have stopped.
boogs

United States

#30 Mar 19, 2008
FSCK39 wrote:
This was a freak accident. A shame, but an accident.
A freack accident? it was not an accident, it was in fact a persons conscience choice to commit an illegal turn on a freeway where most often drivers are exceeding the posted speed limit by 10 to 15 mph, her actions resulted in the death of an innocent man. Not an accident, she failed to consider the consequence of her action.......
boogs

United States

#31 Mar 19, 2008
FSCK39 wrote:
A small mistake, with a serious consequence.
A small mistake? Not so, a mistake is mispelling a word or miscalcuting numbers....Zolack intentionally made an illegal turn on the freeway to make up for missing her exit, resulting in the death of an innocent man. Wonder why she missed the exit? excessive speed would be my presumption....

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