Attorneys speak at press conference announcing lawsuit in Swan Boat Club crash

Posted at 10:32 AM, May 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-01 18:18:43-04

(WXYZ) — Attorneys held a Zoom press conference on Wednesday announcing a lawsuit in the deadly Swan Boat Club crash.

FULL ARRAIGNMENT: Driver arraigned in Swan Boat Club crash that killed 2 kids, injured others

FULL ARRAIGNMENT: Driver arraigned in Swan Boat Club crash that killed 2 kids, injured others

The lawsuit was filed by Marko Law days after the crash on April 20 and was amended Tuesday. Additional survivors were added to the lawsuit that originally listed Mariah Dodds as a plaintiff.

Attorney Jon Marko said survivors of the crash described it as a “war zone.”

“It looks like a bomb went off,” said Marko, talking about the scene of the crash.

240425 Amended Complaint by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd

The lawsuit has also been amended to include the Swan Boat Club as a defendant.

"Defendant Swan Boat Club negligently constructed and maintained its building where the crash occurred," wrote attorney Michael L. Jones of Marko Law.

The boat club was in the roadway without "a guard rail, cement pole or other safety devices," Jones alleges.

Jones said during the press conference Wednesday that the victims need some time to heal and will likely speak at a later date.

VIDEO: Aunt of two kids killed in Swan Boat Club crash speaks at arraignment

Aunt of 2 kids killed in Swan Boat Club crash speaks at the arraignment of suspect

Marshella Chidester is currently out on bond. Chidester is facing multiple charges including second-degree murder and operating while intoxicated causing death. Prosecutors said she has a habit of being intoxicated and was drunk behind the wheel when she crashed into the boat club.

Chidester's defense attorney said she wasn't drunk and blames the deadly crash on a medical problem that he said caused a seizure. free on bond will never sit well with loved ones of the two children killed when her vehicle crashed into the Swan Boat Club during a birthday party.

"Me and my family still can't believe this tragedy," said Nicholas Phillips, uncle to 4-year-old Zayn Phillips and 8-year-old Alanah Phillips. "We, honestly, still can't believe that she's free."

The children's older brother, Jayden "JP" Phillips, and their mother, Mariah Dodds, survived their physical injuries.

7 News Detroit has obtained a new image showing Chidester being helped out of her vehicle moments after the crash as well as new video showing her vehicle speeding past a playground at the boat club.

Watch the families speak publicly last week below:

Families of Swan Boat Club crash victims come together to remember the lives lost

Chidester is scheduled to appear in court on June 27 and June 28 for her preliminary examination.