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Woman, 66, suspected in crash that killed 2 kids at birthday party to be arraigned in Michigan Tuesday

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CBS News Detroit Live

(CBS DETROIT) — A 66-year-old woman accused of crashing into a birthday party at the Swan Boat Club in Berlin Township on Saturday, killing two young children and injuring several others, will be arraigned at 11 a.m. Tuesday. 

According to Monroe County Sheriff Troy Goodnough, an 8-year-old girl and her 4-year-old brother were killed at around 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, when the woman, who is suspected to have been driving drunk, allegedly crashed into a building at the Swan Boat Club property. 

On Monday, the sheriff's office identified the victims as 8-year-old Alanah Phillips and 4-year-old Zayn Phillips. 

The suspect, who has not yet been identified, was initially scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon. 

"First aid was provided to approximately 15 victims, which included adults and young children," said Goodnough.   

Goodnough says nine of those 15 people suffered serious, life-threatening injuries. Nine people were transported to area hospitals and their conditions are as follows: 

  • 31-year-old female who remains in critical condition
  • 11-year-old male who remains in critical condition
  • 18-year-old female in serious condition
  • 16-year-old female in serious condition
  • 14-year-old male in serious condition
  • 70-year-old female with minor injuries
  • 66-year-old female with minor injuries
  • 62-year-old female with minor injuries
  • 57-year-old female with minor injuries

A 42-year-old male received treatment on his own for minor injuries. 

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says the driver may have been coming from Verna's Bar and Grill, which is located less than four miles from the boat club. 

According to officials, the Monroe County Sheriff's Department is still investigating.

In an exclusive video captured by CBS News Detroit on Monday morning, law enforcement was seen going in and out of the home of a person of interest.

The home is only a few doors down from Swan Boat Club. 

On Monday, the Swan Boat Club board of directors issued the following statement on their Facebook page: 

"We have no profound words that can heal us after the unimaginable tragedy that occurred yesterday April 20, 2024, at Swan Boat Club, only feelings. Sadness, shock, frustration. We are a fellowship of people who band together when tragedy strikes. We need time to process the grief, support each other, support the families directly and indirectly involved, to be in each other's company.

As we all try to move forward with our grief and sadness, we need to give ourselves grace to grieve and know that Swan Boat Club is committed to our members and our community."

The two children who were killed in the crash attended Flat Rock Community Schools. 

On Sunday, district superintendent Andrew Brodie released the following statement: 

"It is with a heavy heart that I reach out to you today following the tragic events that unfolded yesterday. A senseless accident occurred where a drunk driver crashed into Swan Creek Boat Club, resulting in the loss of two siblings who were students in our school (Early Childhood Center, Bobcean Elementary) and severe injuries of a third sibling (Simpson Middle School).

Our entire school community is reeling from this devastating news, and our hearts ache for the families and loved ones of those affected by this unimaginable tragedy. 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 and prayers are with every one of you during this incredibly difficult time.

In times of tragedy, it is essential that we come together as a community to support one another. Now, more than ever, we must extend our compassion and solidarity to those who need it most. As we navigate through this challenging time, let us lean on each other for strength and comfort, and let us show kindness and understanding to all who are affected by this heartbreaking loss.

When our students return to school on Monday, our counselors and social workers will be on hand to provide support and assistance to any students and families who may need it. We are committed to creating a safe and nurturing environment where everyone feels supported, heard, and valued as we begin the healing process together.

I encourage you to take the time to talk with your children about their feelings and emotions surrounding this tragedy. Let them know that it is okay to grieve, to ask questions, and to seek help if they need it.

Please keep the families of those affected in your thoughts as we come together as a school community to support one another and to honor the memory of those we have lost."

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