Dec. 5-TRAVERSE CITY - A man suspected of hitting a woman with an SUV and driving away from the scene has been found, arrested and charged, the Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Office reported.
Timothy Lyon, 47, of Long Lake Township, was arraigned on several charges in 86th District Court on Monday in connection with the Friday evening hit-and-run of a 23-year-old woman who was later found in a ditch, according to law enforcement reports.
The crash occurred at 6:20 p.m. on West Long Lake Road. As of Monday evening, the woman was reported in critical condition at Munson Medical Center, Lt. Brian Giddis said.
It took about 18 hours after the collision for patrol and detective deputies from the sheriff's office to find and arrest Lyon. He was then taken to the Grand Traverse County Jail on suspicion of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, Giddis said.
He was arraigned before Magistrate Tammy Rogers on Monday afternoon, and currently faces the following charges: One count failure to stop or identify after a personal injury accident, one count of lying to a police officer, and one count of violating the terms of a restricted license, court records showed.
During the arraignment, Kit Tholen from the Grand Traverse County Prosecutor's office argued that Lyon hit the young woman and saw her at the side of the road in a ditch before he fled the scene.
"He left and he had no intentions of contacting police," Tholen said.
Court records show that, on Nov. 16, Lyon was released from probation on an operating-while-intoxicated conviction, which Tholen said originally involved a high blood-alcohol-content charge that was reduced during court proceedings.
Lyon had told sheriff's deputies that the reason he was driving around that night was allegedly to purchase more alcohol, Tholen said. Lyon "repeatedly lied about having drunk alcohol until ultimately a PBT was delivered showing he had a blood alcohol content."
Tholen did not disclose Lyon's exact PBT (preliminary breath test) or blood alcohol content numbers to the court during the arraignment.
"He continued to lie and tell stories that did not add up with each other," Tholen told the court. "By the very nature of this case, there is a risk of flight."
Defense attorney Steve Kane of Traverse City argued that Lyon has lived in the same house for the past 13 years, worked as a wildlife technician for the Department of Natural Resources for 25 years and would not be a flight risk because he has "so much" family nearby.
"I get that the accusation here is that he fled the scene, and I get that the accusation here is that he's less than truthful," Kane said. "But, those are mere accusations at this point.
"There's been no finding of any of that."
Rogers said, given the inherent flight risk presented in the charges and Lyon's recent conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, she would not grant a typical personal recognizance bond.
"There's no doubt, also in my mind, that the risk to public safety is about as great as any that I have seen in my history here," Rogers said.
Lyon was placed in jail on a $250,000 cash or surety bond. His next court date is 11 a.m. Dec. 22.