Crash victims ID’d; driver arraigned

HOUGHTON — The victims in a fatal crash in Chassell Township Friday have been identified.

Jennifer Rajala, 35, of Covington and Lacey Rajala, 30, of Chassell were killed in the early morning crash.

The crash occurred about 2:20 a.m. Friday at the intersection of the Chassell-Painesdale Road and U.S. 41. The vehicle was westbound when it was unable to stop at the intersection of U.S. 41, colliding with a wooded area before catching fire.

The driver, Ryan Orzechowicz, 34, of Covington, was arraigned in 97th District Court Monday morning. He was charged with two counts of operating while intoxicated – causing death, and two counts of reckless driving causing death. He was also injured in the crash.

If found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

Orzechowicz’s bond was set at $500,000. His preliminary examination is scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 28.


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