Closing arguments begin in ex-prosecutor crash trial

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Closing arguments are expected to begin shortly in the trial of a former assistant prosecutor charged in a Grand  Rapids crash that injured a man.

Josh Kuiper is charged with  reckless driving causing serious injury and a moving violation causing  serious injury in connection to the November 2016 crash.

After a night of drinking, Kuiper drove the wrong way down a one-way street and hit a parked car, injuring its owner, Dan Empson.

Kuiper  and his defense team aren't disputing that he caused the crash or that  he was driving recklessly. The question for the jury to answer is  whether the victim's injuries constituted "serious impairment."

Tuesday,  Kuiper’s defense team called orthopedic surgeon Dr. Frederic Levin to  the stand to discuss Empson’s condition following the crash.

Levin called Empson’s injuries “minor” and “trivial,” saying x-rays showed his fracture had fully healed after about 2.5 months.

The defense rested without calling Kuiper to the stand.

Jurors  heard from another orthopedic surgeon Monday. Dr. Tim Lenters testified  Empson suffered a fractured bone in his shoulder and was in a sling for  six weeks. The doctor also testified that type of injury typically  takes between six and nine months to fully heal.

Under  cross-examination from the defense, Lenters said that in Empson's case,  the fracture fully healed after about 2.5 months, and conceded he had  called the injury a “minor fracture” during an earlier hearing.

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