My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Michigan
I was involved in a 4-car collision. Right before the accident, the SUV in front of my vehicle was doing "braking, no braking and braking". I braked all I could but I still rear ended the SUV. But I heard a smack noise and the SUV was stopped right before my vehicle hit the SUV. The driver of the SUV claimed my sub-compact vehicle pushed his full-size SUV into the back of a pick-up truck in front and that truck pushed into another SUV in the front. All four cars were connected after the accident. No one was injured and all three cars in front had very minor scratches on their bumpers but my car was towed. The first two cars said they were on a heavy stop and go traffic on a highway and were on a completed stop before the accident.
I had about 3-5 cars distance from the SUV a few seconds before the accident. The distance maybe shorter right before the accident because the SUV was doing the "braking, no braking and braking" thing.
I had no where to avoid the SUV besides braking because the accident happened in the center line of a 3 line highway. The speed limit was 70 MPH.
I do not believe my vehicle could push a full-size SUV and a pick up truck into the first car when I was slowing down to less 20 MPH. The hood of my vehicle was stuck under the bumper of the SUV. I think the SUV has already hit the pickup truck and push it into the car in the front before I hit the back of the SUV. That's why I heard the smack noise right before my car rear-ended it. I think the driver in the SUV was indecisive and not sure what he's going to do. That's why he was doing the braking and no braking thing. The driver was close to 80 years old, according to the crash report.
I was the only driver that got a ticket for "Failure to stop within assured clear distance".
I went to an informal hearing but the magistrate said regardless of the cause of the first two cars, I was responsible because I rear-ended the 3rd car. However, I got a ticket because I was the last car that came in. If the 3rd car could brake 'probably', I would be able to react faster and I would not hit the SUV. And it may only become a 3 car collision or no accident if the 3rd car would brake all the way.
There are a few errors on the crash report regarding which vehicle is which vehicle. The officer said the SUV that I rear-ended was towed. However, the SUV was not towed after the accident and the crash report also listed the vehicle was not towed.
I would like to know if I have a case for the judge to dismiss my ticket if I choose to appeal again. I have a clean driving record.