Suspect in fatal DUI crash was out on bond on drug charges, says solicitor’s office


BOILING SPRINGS, SC (WSPA) – The suspect in a DUI crash that killed an 11-year-old boy and hurt several others was out on bond for drug charges, according to the 7th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Michael Eugene Kelley II, 29, of Spartanburg has been charged with two counts of felony DUI with great bodily injury, felony DUI resulting in death and driving under a suspended license.

Ethan Frank Rubenzer

Ethan Frank Rubenzer

The solicitor’s office said one of those charges will be upgraded to felony DUI death, after Ethan Frank Rubenzer of Boiling Springs died Sunday afternoon at Spartanburg Medical Center.

Lance Cpl. Joe Hovis with the S.C. Highway Patrol said Kelley was headed south on Boiling Springs Road (also Highway 9) when Kelley’s SUV hit a car turning left onto Boiling Springs Road from Birds Eye View.

Troopers say the car that Kelley crashed into was driven by Patricia Rubenzer, 45, of Boiling Springs. Rubenzer car overturned and hit a 2002 Toyota SUV.  Patricia is Ethan’s mother. 

Kelley, Patricia and Ethan Rubenzer were taken to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center with injuries. 

Ethan Rubenzer died Sunday afternoon.

A Boiling Springs woman and 2-year-old were in the third vehicle. Troopers say neither were hurt in the crash. 

Kelley remains in the Spartanburg County jail as of Monday morning. His bond was initially denied and he has a bond revocation hearing set for Friday morning.

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