Tragedy Strikes Birthday Party, Allegedly Drunk Driver Kills 2

A birthday celebration in Berlin Township, Michigan, turned deadly Saturday afternoon when a vehicle crashed into the building, killing two young siblings and injuring several others. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office reported that a 66-year-old woman who’s suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol plowed through the north wall of the Swan Creek Boat Club traveling about 25 feet inside.

First responders arrived at the scene to find an 8-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother deceased. Three other children and six adults suffered serious injuries and were transported to nearby hospitals by ambulance and helicopter. Another sibling of the deceased was among those seriously injured.

Paramedics provided first aid to a total of 15 individuals at the scene described by Sheriff Troy Goodnough as “extremely chaotic” with high levels of emotion from those directly involved and witnesses. The area was flooded with emergency vehicles from multiple agencies in Berlin Township and surrounding communities including Frenchtown Township Monroe Township and Rockwood. Two air ambulances from the University of Michigan also responded.

The driver was arrested and held at Monroe County Jail on suspicion of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated resulting in death. Additional charges are expected as the investigation continues which includes a search of a nearby tavern where the motorist may have been prior to the crash.

The Swan Creek Boat Club announced on Facebook that it would be temporarily closed due to the tragedy. “In light of the emergency please do not try to come to Swan Boat Club at the moment so emergency vehicles can get through. At this time the club is closed until further notice,” the post read.

The school district attended by the deceased victims released a statement expressing their grief and support for the affected families. “Words cannot adequately express the depth of our sorrow, nor can they ease the pain of those who are grieving. Please know that our thoughts are with every one of you during this incredibly difficult time,” wrote Superintendent Andrew Brodie.