Two young children killed, over a dozen injured as intoxicated woman crashes into child's birthday party

MONROE COUNTY, MI - Authorities with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) announced that two children have been killed and over a dozen people injured after an intoxicated driver crashed into a Michigan boat club where a birthday party was taking place. 

According to ABC News, the incident took place at the Swan Boat Club in the Charter Township of Berlin around 3:00 p.m., on Saturday, April 20th. Two young siblings, a five-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl, were killed. At least 15 people in total were wounded, including six adults and three children with life-threatening injuries. 

The driver of the vehicle, a 66-year-old woman, who was intoxicated at the time of the crash, plunged the car 25 feet into the building. During a press conference, MCSO Sheriff Troy Goodnough, choked up many times as he described the horrific scene. He said, "The scene was just described by the first responders as extremely chaotic, with high level of emotions of those directly involved and those who witnessed this horrific incident."

According to the Detroit Free Press, a doorbell cam video posted online shows what appears to be an SUV speeding toward the boat club, go out of view blocked by a strand of trees, and then a cloud of dust suddenly coming from offscreen. People can then be seen rushing out of the building. 

Upon arriving on scene, first responders rendered aid to 15 victims at the scene. Nine of those individuals were transported to local hospitals, either by ambulance or helicopter. Others at the scene were transported by private vehicles to local hospitals. In a statement to Fox News Digital, Goodnough called the situation "tragic" and confirmed that it was a child's birthday party that was being held at the boat club at the time of the incident. 

His statement added, "Preliminary investigation reveals that a vehicle drove through a building where a children's [sic] birthday celebration was taking place, seriously injuring a number of people, both children and adults. The victims have been transported to several area hospitals." 

The 66-year-old suspect was arrested at the scene for suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, causing death and is currently being held at Monroe County Jail. The number of people inside the party during the incident is still under investigation. According to Fox 59, authorities were notified that the woman may have been at a nearby tavern before the incident. 

Goodnough said in a statement, "We went in, we shut the business down. We are in the process of executing a search warrant for information as to the business conducted that day." Goodnough said that investigators were working at the scene to process evidence, identify victims, interview witnesses, and reunite family members separated in the sudden chaos of the deadly and tragic crash. 

In a Facebook post, Swan Boat Club announced that it will be temporarily closed because of the incident, adding, "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. Please keep everyone involved in your thoughts and prayers. We thank everyone for their concern and prayers."

The Club also shared the family's Go Fund Me link for funeral services, which has raised over $121,000 at the time of this writing.
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