Flint, MI– The Genesee County Prosecutor’s office has filed two felony charges against the 16-year-old involved in the car crash that killed a beloved Flint police captain in February.

Prosecutor David Leyton announced on May 11, 2022, that he would be charging the teenager with manslaughter with a motor vehicle and reckless driving causing death. 

Captain Collin Birnie of the Flint Police Department. (Courtesy | Flint Police Department)

On Feb. 4, 2022, the Montrose teen was speeding while attempting to pass several vehicles, according to a press release from the prosecutor’s office. The teen lost control of his vehicle and crossed into the opposite lane, striking Flint Police Captain Collin Birnie’s vehicle.

Birnie, who had been on duty, was taken to a local hospital where he died, the release states. 

Leyton filed a petition in Genesee County Family Court requesting that the teenager who hit Birnie be designated as an adult for trial on the two felonies. According to the release, both felonies carry a maximum possible penalty of 15 years in prison. 

If the teenager is convicted in Family Court, the release states that he could face “full adult adjudication with adult sentencing.” The Family Court may also send the teenager to a juvenile facility until he is 21, or pursue “a blended sentence” where he goes to the juvenile facility until he is 21, and then faces an adult sentence. 

Birnie had worked for the Flint Police Department for 26 years serving as a patrol bureau commander, a bomb squad commander, a tactical team commander, and a lead firearms instructor. 

But many Flint residents remember Birnie for his dedication to bridging the gap between the police department and the community and for leading his work with his heart.

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...