Siblings, 8 and 5, killed as suspected drunk driver crashes into children’s birthday

By The Associated Press
A law enforcement official monitors the perimeter of the Swan Creek Boat Club after a driver crashed a vehicle through a building where a children's birthday party was taking place, Saturday, April 20, 2024, in Berlin Township, Mich.
A law enforcement official monitors the perimeter of the Swan Creek Boat Club after a driver crashed a vehicle through a building where a children’s birthday party was taking place, Saturday, April 20, 2024, in Berlin Township, Mich.

BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A young brother and sister died and several people were injured, some of them seriously, when a vehicle driven by a suspected drunken driver crashed into a young child’s birthday party Saturday at a boat club, a Michigan sheriff said.

An 8-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother died at the scene in the crash, when a 66-year-old woman drove 25 feet (7.6 meters) into the building about 3 p.m. at the Swan Creek Boat Club in Berlin Township, about 30 miles (48.2 kilometers) south of Detroit, Monroe County Sheriff Troy Goodnough said.

“The scene was described by the first responders as extremely chaotic, with high level of emotions of those directly involved and those who witnessed this horrific incident,” he said.

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Three children and six adults were taken to area hospitals by two helicopters or ambulances with life-threatening injuries, he said. Others injured were given first aid at the scene and some were taken to hospitals by private vehicles.

Goodnough did not identify the woman driving the vehicle but said she was taken into custody and held at the Monroe County Jail suspected of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing death. She was cooperating with authorities and likely would face more charges as the investigation continues, he said.

Authorities were notified the woman may have been at a nearby tavern before the incident, Goodnough said, adding they closed the establishment and planned to execute a search warrant there as part of the investigation.

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