Suspected drunken driver goes airborne into Monroe Co. marsh with 3 kids in truck

'It was pretty traumatic for everybody involved'
Posted at 12:10 AM, May 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-09 14:48:12-04

BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — A suspected drunken driver launched her truck into the air and into a marsh with children inside the vehicle.

It happened Sunday afternoon near Superior Avenue and North Avenue in Newport. The Monroe County sheriff says there were minor injuries.

Neighbors say if it weren't for the berm along the wetland, the truck would have gone much farther and into deeper water.

Screenshot 2024-05-08 at 12.04.19 AM.png

Neighbors heard the sound of the truck speeding by and launching into the body of water and went running toward the crash.

"There was a boom, so I got out of bed, ran outside,” neighbor Bobbi Dansard said. "There was a few other people who had jumped in the water, so I stayed on the berm so I could lift whoever was in the vehicle up on to the berm.”

That's when the neighbors realized three kids were inside the truck along with the driver.

“My son's father and neighbors over here, they were in the water. They were yelling out how many people were in the vehicle because their son was on the phone with 911," Dansard said. "While they were pulling the two girls out, I had pulled them up out of the water on the berm and made sure they were OK, got them blankets.”

Screenshot 2024-05-08 at 12.06.27 AM.png
Bobbi Dansard talks with 7 News Detroit about a crash where a truck went airbone into a marsh with children inside the vehicle in Monroe County. (May 7, 2024)

Home surveillance shows the kids getting help and also shows divers helping the driver to shore. The sheriff says the woman behind the wheel is suspected of being drunk.

“No mother who is in her right state of mind would drive like that with children in the car or without children in the car, especially out here,” Dansard said. “It was pretty traumatic for everybody involved.”

Screenshot 2024-05-08 at 12.06.59 AM.png

Neighbors say the driver was the mother of one of the kids, and the two others were the child's friends. The streets are narrow with plenty of stop signs and kids often playing outside.

“These are 15 mph streets, so she was very reckless. Very reckless with her child and other people's children in the car,” Dansard said. "I'm mad because if my child was home, my child would have been outside here and I would have lost a child of my own.”

The Monroe County sheriff says that as of now, the driver has not been arrested and was instead taken to the hospital after the incident. Investigators are still waiting for results from a toxicology report.