Driver sentenced for crash that killed aunt, baby

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The driver who slammed into the back of a stopped car, killing a young woman and baby, will spend weeks in jail.

Brian Johnson was sentenced Wednesday to 45 days in jail with credit for one day served, 12 months of probation and pay $10,081 in fees and restitution. He was convicted of a misdemeanor count of moving violation causing death.

The Michigan State Police said Johnson, 27, of Cedar Springs, slammed into the back of a car, which was stopped on M-46, waiting to turn left onto Amble Road northwest of Howard City on Jan. 6, 2019.

The crash killed two people in the stopped car — Samantha Baker, 18, of Winfield Township, and her nine-month-old niece, Annalee Baker.

Johnson told a trooper on the scene that he tried to swerve to avoid the car but hit it in the rear passenger side.

According to the police report, he also claimed he did not see brake lights.

Nine months after the crash happened, the Attorney General’s office assigned the Montcalm County case to Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker, who filed a charge against Johnson in December 2019.

Press Secretary Ryan Jarvi told Target 8 that as a result of the error, the AG has initiated a new policy to ensure such an oversight never occurs again.