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1 dead after driver crashes into tow truck in Detroit

Posted at 11:08 AM, Jan 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-01 17:13:02-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A man is dead and a tow truck driver suffered serious injuries after a possible drunk driver ran into them just hours into New Year's Day, according to the Detroit police.

“I was awaken by a big, big boom," Elondo Armstead Sr. told Action News.

The loud boom that woke Armstead out of his sleep roared throughout the neighborhood around 5:21 a.m. It happened on the city's east side on Hayes Street between Young and Hazelridge Street.

Ladajah Swan, who lives across the road and around the block from Armstead, said her 6-year-old heard a loud bang.

"And she came upstairs, running upstairs and said, ‘Ma, I heard a loud bang. I don’t know what’s going on.’ I said, ‘They probably still shooting outside.' Ya know. 'Just stay away from the windows,'" she recalled.

Swan would later learn it was a fatal crash.

Detroit police said the driver of a 2015 black Chevy Tahoe ran into a tow truck — hitting the tow truck driver and his customer.

Armstead recalled, “Then, I seen some scuffling. They were definitely scuffling like he was trying to get away.”

Police said the suspect, a man in his 40s, was taken into custody. It’s unclear if he had any injuries, but investigators said he may have been drunk.

The tow truck driver was taken to a hospital and is listed in temporary serious condition, according to DPD.

Sadly, the 26-year-old customer – a man who police have not identified – died on scene.

“It’s just a traumatic situation just to hear someone losing they life," Swan said.

It’s no secret that drinking and driving don’t mix. AAA ranks New Year’s as one of the deadliest days for alcohol-related deaths.

Most recent data shows 1,013 people died in drunk-driving crashes nationwide in December 2021, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Armstead said, “(That's) terrible man. It’s tragic."

"It’s really saddening just to see that," he added.

Swan told Action News, “My heart really goes out to the family.”

Detroit police say the investigation is ongoing.