|Death: ||May 3, 2005|
Samuel Jay Weinstein
9 yrs. old
Beloved son of Gary (and the late Judith) Weinstein. Loving grandson of Bertha Weinstein. Dearest brother of the late Alexander Joseph Weinstein. Devoted nephew of Marsha (Harvey) Auslander, Sheldon (Marcie) Weinstein, Ruth (Tim) Klein-Heksel, David (Karen) Weinstein, Ken Weinstein, Paul (Kim) Reiff, Ellen Portnoy and Barbara (Sidney) Stutz. Adoring cousin of Joni (John) Alsfasser, Suzanne Auslander, Kevin Auslander, Amy Klein-Heksel, Mindy Klein-Heksel, Avi and Shoshana Weinstein, Kristine (Dale) Kelley, Benjamin (Giah) Portnoy, Nathaniel, Louis, and Joe Kelley, Lauren & Daniel Reiff, Clara (Jeff) Surowitz, Brenna (Jamie) Karbel, Colin & Rani Stutz. Also survived by many other family members and a world of loving friends. SERVICES FRIDAY, 11AM AT THE DORFMAN CHAPEL, FARMINGTON HILLS (248) 406-6000. PRIVATE INTERMENT WILL BE HELD or visit www.thedorfmanchapel.com
Funeral Held For Mother, Sons Killed In Crash
1,500 People Estimated At Farmington Hills Chapel
POSTED: 10:56 am EDT May 6, 2005
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. -- An estimated 1,500 people gathered at a Farmington Hills chapel Friday morning to say farewell to a mother and her two children who were killed in a crash earlier this week.
Judith Weinstein, and her sons, Alex, 12, and Sam, 9, were killed Tuesday when a suspected drunken driver crashed into the rear of their Honda Accord on 12 Mile Road, just east of Orchard Lake Road, Tuesday afternoon.
Funeral services were scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the Dorfman Chapel in Farmington Hills, Local 4 reported. Mourners started to gather at about 9 a.m., and the chapel -- which has a capacity of 1,000 people -- overflowed with family and friends. Portable speakers were placed outside for mourners whom the chapel could not hold to hear the services, Local 4 reported.
Among the family and friends who attended the services Friday were the children's classmates. They wrote farewell letters to the boys, and the notes were posted in a collage at the chapel, Local 4 reported. A makeshift memorial of teddy bears and stuffed animals was also created near the chapel.
Counselors were on hand this week for classmates at both schools the Weinstein boys attended in Farmington Hills. Alex attended O.E. Dunckel Middle School and Sam was a student at Hillside Elementary.
Gary Weinstein, the victims' husband and father, has turned to the support of family and friends.
The family's rabbi, Tamara Kolton, of Birmingham Temple, said the family was close and spirited. She said that all friends and family can do for Gary Weinstein is let him know "that he is not alone."
Family and friends wanted the focus of Friday's services to be on the lives of Judith, Alex and Sam Weinstein, and not their tragic death, Local 4 reported.
The man accused of causing the fatal crash, Thomas Keith Wellinger, 48, was charged with three counts of murder from his hospital bed Thursday, according to Local 4 reports. Wellinger was unable to speak because of his medical condition from injuries sustained in Tuesday's crash, so a judge entered a plea of not guilty for him, Local 4 reported.
Police said Wellinger had a blood-alcohol level of 0.43. Under Michigan law, it is illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 or more. Investigators have also uncovered a black box from Wellinger's sport utility vehicle, from which they learned he was driving 70 mph and did not hit the brakes before crashing into the Weinstein's vehicle.
Wellinger is being held in custody without bond. He could face life in prison if convicted of the murder charges, Local 4 reported.
Investigators continue their efforts to determine exactly what led up to the crash Tuesday afternoon.
Wellinger Heads To Prison For Fatal Family Crash
Mother, Sons Killed In May 2005
POSTED: 2:25 pm EDT April 26, 2006
PONTIAC, Mich. -- A judge on Wednesday sentenced Thomas Wellinger to 19 to 30 years in prison for causing a drunken driving crash that killed a woman and her two sons.
Wellinger, 49, pleaded no contest last month to three counts of second-degree murder in the May 3, 2005, deaths of Judith Weinstein, 50, and her sons, Alexander, 12, and Samuel, 9. As part of the plea, he agreed to a 19- to 30-year prison term.
Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Rudy Nichols gave Wellinger credit for 358 days served.
Wellinger's GMC Yukon Denali sport utility vehicle slammed into the rear of Weinstein's Honda Accord at 70 mph as she was waiting to turn left into an orthodontist's office on busy 12 Mile Road in Farmington Hills.
A state police toxicologist testified that Wellinger's blood alcohol level was 0.36 to 0.39 percent at the time of the crash, more than four times the legal limit for drunken driving.
Wellinger of Farmington Hills also had an anxiety drug and an antihistamine in his system, police blood tests showed. Medical experts say most people couldn't function and some would die with a blood-alcohol level that high.
Authorities have not been able to determine where Wellinger got drunk the day of the crash, although Farmington Hills Police Chief William Dwyer said he suspected it was at a home and not at a bar or restaurant.
About four hours before the wreck, Wellinger's boss at the UGS Corp. office in Livonia confronted Wellinger about poor work performance and alcohol use. The boss and other workers told police that Wellinger had a drinking problem, but none of the workers interviewed by police reported seeing him intoxicated the day of the crash.
Plano, Texas-based UGS said Wellinger was not sent home from work that day, but left early in the afternoon to attend a previously scheduled doctor's appointment.
Steven Z. Cohen, Wellinger's civil attorney, said Wellinger has no recollection of the crash or where he was heading at the time. He had a psychiatrist's appointment that afternoon and presumably was headed there, Cohen said.
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Record added: Apr 26, 2006
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