Zavier Simpson was given a civil infraction Wednesday for speeding too fast for conditions on Jan. 26, Ann Arbor police Sgt. Bill Clock said.
The 22-year-old from Ohio and the Wolverines had suffered a 64-62 loss to Illinois hours before police were called to a vehicle crashed at Hill Street and South Forest Avenue in Ann Arbor.
Police found a vehicle crashed into a pole, possibly a sign for a bike lane, in the early morning hours about 3 a.m..
They found the car with no driver, but Simpson and another person walked up.
Simpson initially gave police a false name and denied involvement in the crash.
“They figured it out – didn’t take long,” Clock said of Simpson’s identity.
Police tracked down the owner of the vehicle, Chrislan Manuel, who is married to Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel.
Officers were able to determine through Chrislan Manuel and her son, Evan Manuel, that Simpson was the driver. Evan Manuel is a student manager for the basketball team.
Simpson did not smell of intoxicants, Clock said. The student-athlete told police the car slipped on ice before striking the pole. The car was towed from the scene. The crash was initially listed as a hit-and-run incident, Clock said.
Though civil infractions are normally handed out a bit more quickly, the need to verify Simpson as the driver slowed the investigation.
The basketball team announced the one-game suspension of their multi-year captain for violating team policies on Jan. 27.
In a statement at the time, Michigan coach Juwan Howard said the matter would be handled appropriately within the program.
“While we are disappointed with what has transpired with Zavier, we know there are always lessons to learn and grow from,” he said, according to the statement. “We take these matters and consequences very seriously.”
Simpson returned from his suspension on Feb. 1 during a home win over Rutgers.
Contact Darcie Moran at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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