Driver in Swan Boat Club crash had .18 BAC, said she 'wouldn't want to drive'

Posted at 10:58 AM, Jun 27, 2024

(WXYZ) — Marshella Chidester, the woman who is facing several charges in a crash at the Swan Boat Club that killed two kids and injured more, had a blood-alcohol content more than twice the legal limit.

During a preliminary exam on Thursday, a Monroe County sheriff's deputy who performed a field sobriety test and then took Chidester to the hospital said her BAC was .18. The legal limit in Michigan is .08.

Video: Swan Boat Club Suspect had .18 BAC

Swan Boat Club suspect had .18 BAC

Prosecutors also played bodycam video from two others deputies who interviewed Chidester after the crash, in which she admitted to drinking and also said she wouldn't let herself drive.

In the first bodycam video, Chidester said that she passed out, and that she has seizures and takes medication for them.

Watch the first bodycam video below

'I passed out.' Body cam video shows driver after Swan Boat Club crash

When the deputy asked if she had been drinking, she said, "a little bit, yes," and then said her last drink was around 30 minutes ago.

In a second bodycam video, a deputy had this interaction with her.

“On a scale of 0-10, 0 is stone cold sober, you can drive perfectly; 10 being you’re passed out drunk. Where do you think you’re at right now?” the deputy asked.

“A 7," Chidester said.

“Do you think you’re OK to drive?" he asked.

“I wouldn’t want to drive," she said.

“You wouldn’t let you drive?" he asked.

“No," she responded.

Watch the second bodycam footage below

Marshella Chidester said she wouldn't let herself drive in new bodycam video

Chidester, 66, is charged with eight different crimes, including two counts of second-degree murder. On April 20, prosecutors claim Chidester was under the influence of alcohol and drove her car into the boat club, killing two siblings, 4-year-old Zayn and 8-year-old Alanah Phillips. Over a dozen others were injured.

After hours of testimony, a judge determined there was enough evidence for Chidester to stand trial. She was bound over on all charges.