UPDATE: Bond lowered for driver charged in fatal Chassell crash

Two are dead following a fiery crash in Houghton County Friday morning.
Two are dead following a fiery crash in Houghton County Friday morning.(Pixabay via MGN)
Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 2:02 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 29, 2022 at 12:19 PM EST
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CHASSELL TWP., Mich. (WLUC) - UPDATE: The bond has been lowered for a man charged with OWI causing death in connection to a fatal Chassell Township crash.

34-year-old Ryan Orzechowicz from Covington appeared in Houghton County District Court Friday Nov. 18 for a preliminary exam.

During the exam, defense requested his bond be lowered from $500,000 based on the cost of medical appointments and surgeries resulting from the accident. The judge approved the motion, reducing the bond to $25,000 cash or surety with the condition Orzechowicz wear a tether.

Orzechowicz is charged with 2 counts of OWI Causing Death and 2 Counts of Reckless Driving Causing Death after a Nov. 4 crash in which two passengers in his vehicle were killed.

He will next appear in Houghton County District Court for a preliminary examination on Feb. 10 at 10 a.m.

Last published: Nov 7, 2022 4:02:14 PM

The victims of the crash in Chassell Township last Friday have been identified.

35-year-old Jennifer Rajala from Covington and 30-year-old Lacey Rajala from Chassell died in the crash.

34-year-old Ryan Orzechowicz from Covington, who was injured in the crash, has been arrested and charged with 2 counts of OWI Causing Death and 2 Counts of Reckless Driving Causing Death.

He is lodged in the Houghton County Jail on a $500,000 bond. Orzechowicz is scheduled to be in Houghton County District Court for a Preliminary Exam on November 28.

Last published: Nov 4, 2022 2:13:49 PM:

Two people are dead and one is injured following a crash in Chassell Township early Friday morning.

The Houghton County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched shortly after 2:20 a.m. Friday morning to a vehicle crash at the intersection of Chassell Painesdale Road and US-41.

The Sheriff said the vehicle was heading westbound when it drove through the intersection of US-41, was unable to stop, and landed in a wooded area. The vehicle was on fire when officials arrived at the scene.

The driver, a 34-year-old Covington man, was transported to UPHS - Portage for treatment. Two passengers, a 35-year-old Covington woman and a thirty-year-old Chassell woman, were declared dead.

Alcohol and speed are suspected to be the cause of the crash.

Officers were assisted by the Michigan State Police accident investigator, Chassell Fire Department and First Responders, Mercy Ambulance, Houghton City Police, Houghton County Medical Examiner’s Office and Superior Service Towing.