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2 children dead after driver crashes at birthday party

Vaseline 2 months ago

A pair of siblings are dead and at least 15 people are injured after a drunk driver crashed a vehicle into a boat club where a child’s birthday party was being held.

During a press conference following the incident, which occurred on Saturday afternoon, April 20, Monroe County Sheriff Troy Goodnough said the driver was a 66-year-old woman “who will not be identified at this time.”

Officials were dispatched to the crash around 3 p.m. local time after the driver’s vehicle struck the Swan Creek Boat Club in Berlin Township, Michigan, Goodnough said.

The woman had crashed her car into the building and gone about 25 feet inside, “where a young child’s birthday party was being held,” the sheriff said.

Officials are responding to the April 20 crash at the Swan Creek Boat Club.

Kathleen Kildee/Detroit News via AP

At the time of the news conference, there were a total of 15 victims, both adults and children, the sheriff said. Two victims, siblings, were pronounced dead at the scene.

They were later identified as 8-year-old Lana and 5-year-old Zayn through a GoFundMe post from their aunt, Diane Harrington.

The siblings’ mother, Mariah, and older brother, Jayden, were also injured at the birthday party and “remain in critical condition,” the fundraiser said.

After first responders arrived, three children and six adults were transported by ambulance and helicopter to local hospitals with “serious, life-threatening injuries,” the sheriff said. The rest were transported by private vehicles.

Helicopters transported the victims of the April 20 Swan Creek Boat Club crash to nearby hospitals.

Kathleen Kildee/Detroit News via AP

According to Goodnough, emergency responders described the initial scene of the crash as “extremely chaotic, with high levels of emotion among those directly involved and those who witnessed this horrific incident.”

When asked about the driver’s behavior after the crash, the sheriff said, “As far as her mental state, I don’t want to comment on that,” although he did note that she was “cooperating” with authorities.

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The sheriff also said the driver may have visited Verna’s Tavern, a bar about three miles away from the boat club, before the crash.

He said officials “have closed the business” and are “in the process of executing a search warrant regarding information for the conducted business.”

The woman was taken into police custody and charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death, Goodnough said. He added that “additional criminal charges will likely be filed against the driver as the investigation continues.”

Police responded to the April 20 crash at the Swan Creek Boat Club.

Kathleen Kildee/Detroit News via AP

“At this time, investigators continue to process evidence at the scene, identify victims, interview witnesses and reunite family members,” he said.

Following the crash, Swan Creek Boat Club announced in a Facebook post that the club will be closed on Sunday, April 21.

“There was a terrible accident at Swan today with many injuries and extensive damage to the pavilion,” the message said. “Please keep all people and families in your prayers.”