MI - Two children killed when drunk driver crashes into birthday party - April 21, 2024

Clearsky

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BERLIN TWP. — Two children — a brother and sister — attending a birthday party Saturday died after a suspected intoxicated driver crashed into the building where the party was taking place.
 
A community mourned Sunday and police probed deeper into the crash that killed two siblings, a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old, and injured at least 13 others at a birthday party Saturday afternoon at a Monroe County boat club.

Flat Rock Community Schools said the 8-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother who were killed when the car crashed into the party Saturday were students in the Flat Rock school district, the district's superintendent said Sunday. A third sibling was severely injured in the crash, he said, and a page said the mother of the three also was severely injured...

At about 3 p.m. Saturday, a 66-year-old female driver crashed into a building where the children's birthday party was taking place at the Swan Creek Boat Club on Brancheau Road in Berlin Township and careened 25 feet into the north side of the building, according to Monroe County Sheriff Troy Goodnough.

The woman, whom authorities have not identified, was taken into custody on suspicion of operating while intoxicated causing death. She was then held at the Monroe County Jail...
 
BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Two young siblings were killed over the weekend when a suspected drunk driver drove through a child’s birthday party in Monroe County.

On Saturday, April 20, a boy and a girl both under the age of 10 were killed in the crash. The children’s mother and a third sibling were also seriously injured, among several others.

What happened

On Saturday afternoon, a birthday party was taking place for a young child at the Swan Boat Club in Berlin Township, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. The club is located off Lake Erie in Berlin Township.

At about 3 p.m. Saturday, a suspected drunk driver drove into the building, crashing into a wall on the building’s north side. The vehicle -- driven by a 66-year-old woman whose identity has not yet been released -- stopped about 25 feet inside the building...
 
Two young siblings were killed when an intoxicated driver crashed into a Michigan business where a child's birthday party was being held Saturday, authorities said.

The vehicle hit a building at Swan Boat Club in Berlin Charter Township around 3 p.m. It came to a stop 25 feet inside, where the party was taking place, Monroe County Sheriff Troy Goodnough said at a news conference Saturday evening.

The siblings, a 5-year-old boy and his 8-year-old sister, were declared dead at the scene, he said. It was not immediately clear if the party was for either of the children, and their names have not been released...
 
BERLIN TWP. (WWJ) — Two siblings — and 8-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy — were killed when a suspected drunk driver crashed into a children’s birthday party at the Swan Boat Club in Monroe County Saturday afternoon.

In total, according to the Monroe County Sheriff's office, there were 15 victims. Nine of them — three children and six adults — were taken to hospitals with serious or life-threatening injuries via ambulance or life-flight helicopter.

The names of the brother and sister who were killed had not been released, as of Sunday morning. It was not clear who the birthday celebration was held for.

“At this time, investigators are continuing to process evidence at the scene, identify victims, interview witnesses and reunite family members,” Monroe County Sheriff Troy Goodnough said at a press conference Saturday evening...
 

BERLIN TWP. — Two children — a brother and sister — attending a birthday party Saturday died after a suspected intoxicated driver crashed into the building where the party was taking place.
Thank you for starting this thread. I live in Oakland County (north of Monroe) and have followed this case since the news broke on Saturday afternoon. I was going to start a discussion but wasn't quite sure where it belonged: Crimes, Crimes Spotlight on Children, or Up To the Minute. This senseless tragedy has made me sad and very angry. The woman who was driving drunk in the middle of the afternoon should be charged with manslaughter, at the very least. Any establishment that served her alcohol earlier in the day should be held accountable, as well. JMO
 
The 66-year-old woman who was driving the SUV is being held in the Monroe County Jail for suspicion of driving while intoxicated causing death, a 15-year felony. Police said there could be additional charges as the investigation continues.


"It’s so sad," said Paul Schmidt, 46, who lives next to the club and witnessed the aftermath of the crash. Speaking to a reporter Sunday morning, he noted that the scene was so horrific that even "the cop was throwing up in the yard."

Schmidt — who had recorded on cell phone videos the SUV driving past his home and the 3 p.m. crash ― said some of the footage was too graphic to share with the public. He estimated the driver, who he said lives near the club, appeared be going 40 mph or more.
 
A charging decision on a suspected drunken driver who struck a building at a Monroe County boat club, killing two children and injuring 13 others at a birthday party on Saturday, is expected to come Tuesday, according to the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office.

Prosecutor Jeffery Yorkey said the Monroe County Sheriff's Department has some additional investigating to do before his office can make a charging decision related to the crash at the Swan Boat Club.

"Mr. Yorkey wishes to send out his deepest condolences to the victims of Saturday’s tragic incident," according to a press release from prosecutors...
 

...What we know about the driver

The 66-year-old woman who drove an apparent SUV into the boat club was believed to be drunk. Monroe County authorities say their investigation indicates she was at a nearby tavern before the crash.

Surveillance video from a home nearby shows the woman’s vehicle speeding by. You can see that footage in the video report at the top of this article.

Police said the woman was cooperating with the investigation. She was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing death. Additional criminal charges were expected to be brought against the woman, officials said.

The driver’s identity will be made public once she is officially arraigned on any charges. She was expected to be arraigned on Tuesday, April 23...
 
BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Charges were expected to be brought Tuesday against the woman accused of driving under the influence when she crashed into a child’s birthday party in Monroe County over the weekend, killing two children.

A 66-year-old woman, who was identified Tuesday as Marshella Chidester of Monroe, was arrested Saturday, April 20 for driving while intoxicated causing death. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said Chidester was at a nearby tavern before driving into the Swan Boat Club in Berlin Township, where a child’s birthday party was being held.

Two young children, a brother and sister, were killed when the woman crashed into the building. More than a dozen other people were injured, including more children.

The sheriff’s office said a charging decision was expected to be made for Chidester by Tuesday, April 23. She was also expected to be arraigned at 11 a.m. on the same day...
 
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The 66-year-old woman who was driving the SUV is being held in the Monroe County Jail for suspicion of driving while intoxicated causing death, a 15-year felony. Police said there could be additional charges as the investigation continues.


"It’s so sad," said Paul Schmidt, 46, who lives next to the club and witnessed the aftermath of the crash. Speaking to a reporter Sunday morning, he noted that the scene was so horrific that even "the cop was throwing up in the yard."

Schmidt — who had recorded on cell phone videos the SUV driving past his home and the 3 p.m. crash ― said some of the footage was too graphic to share with the public. He estimated the driver, who he said lives near the club, appeared be going 40 mph or more.
There would presumably be 2 charges of death while intoxicated.

I wonder if she had prior DUI’s?
 
Monroe — A 66-year-old former commodore of a Monroe County boat club was charged Tuesday with driving drunk and killing two children and injuring 13 others when she allegedly plowed her car into the club as a birthday party was happening.

Chidester was arraigned Tuesday in Monroe's 1st District Court. Chidester limped into the courtroom Tuesday with her right arm in a splint.

Multiple relatives of the two siblings who died accused Chidester of choosing to drink. Bond was set at $1.5 million...
 
This case involves so many innocent people. Praying for healing and restoration for those that passed, the surviving victims, the families and the community.

8 Charges! This is so awfully sad.

Apr 23, 2024
Marshella Chidester, 66, was arraigned in court on eight charges, including two counts of second-degree murder, two counts of OWI causing death and four counts of OWI causing serious injury. She was given a $1.5 million bond with substance abuse monitoring

 
A community mourned Sunday and police probed deeper into the crash that killed two siblings, a 5-year-old and an 8-year-old, and injured at least 13 others at a birthday party Saturday afternoon at a Monroe County boat club.

Flat Rock Community Schools said the 8-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother who were killed when the car crashed into the party Saturday were students in the Flat Rock school district, the district's superintendent said Sunday. A third sibling was severely injured in the crash, he said, and a page said the mother of the three also was severely injured...

At about 3 p.m. Saturday, a 66-year-old female driver crashed into a building where the children's birthday party was taking place at the Swan Creek Boat Club on Brancheau Road in Berlin Township and careened 25 feet into the north side of the building, according to Monroe County Sheriff Troy Goodnough.

The woman, whom authorities have not identified, was taken into custody on suspicion of operating while intoxicated causing death. She was then held at the Monroe County Jail...
This breaks my heart and makes me sick--- there are no words really to describe the heartache for these families that will be with the survivors forever. That woman might as well have used a gun- instead- she negligently used her car as a weapon---
 
BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A 66-year-old woman accused of driving drunk and crashing into a child’s birthday party in Monroe County was arraigned Tuesday on several charges, including second-degree murder.

Marshella Chidester, a resident of Monroe, is facing eight charges after crashing her vehicle into a young child’s birthday party on Saturday, April 20. Two young children, a brother and sister, were killed in the crash. Several others -- including the siblings’ mother and older brother -- were injured.

The Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office is charging Chidester with eight crimes, including:

  • Two counts of second-degree murder -- which carries a punishment of up to life in prison.
  • Two counts of operating under the influence of liquor causing death -- which carries a punishment of up to 15 years in prison.
  • Four counts of operating under the influence of liquor causing serious injury -- which carries a punishment of up to 5 years in prison.
Chidester was given a $1.5 million bond, as was recommended by the prosecutor’s office. The woman is not allowed to use alcohol, operate a vehicle or commit any other crimes while on bond, the judge said...
 

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