Family shocked after Detroit 3-year-old killed after drunk-driving crash involving mom

Posted at 4:43 PM, Aug 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-10 17:51:08-04

Police say a woman was operating her car while intoxicated before a deadly crash that killed her 3-year-old son.

On Thursday night, the woman was driving eastbound on east 7 Mile in the wrong direction, ran a red light and hit a car that was going north on Hayes.

A witness, Desmond Lemon, said he saw the 3-year-old fly out of the van while still in his car seat.

"It was pure chaos, the worst thing you would ever see," he said.

Lemon said the mother was there, devastated about her son. Her 3-month-old daughter was also in the van, but is expected to be okay.

The mother's family said she had been getting help for some mental concerns and was taking medication for it. Police say she has been charged with operating while impaired.

Family members of the boy say they’re having a hard time coping with the loss.

“We just want everybody to keep our family lifted in your prayers and to not judge her. As my sister-in-law said earlier, only God can judge her. She’s not a bad person, she’s not a person that just got drunk and killed her kid on purpose, she’s been going through a lot, so we just ask that you keep our family in your prayers,” Michael’s aunt Equeilla Sledge explained.

“His smile was amazing,” Equeilla said about the toddler. “Michael was such a happy smiling baby such a joy.”

Equella said the mother has been going through some tough times.

“Very, very shocking she loves her kids so much. She really really do, but she suffers from depression and it just led to something very tragic,” she said.

Others dropped off balloons and toys at this pole.

Judy Carter said at the memorial, “Rest in peace, but why can’t we live in peace? And it’s just sad. Now we got to bury a baby haven’t even had life yet.”

“Senseless things, we got to stop it. For our babies,” Ronnie Rucker.

Rucker didn’t know Michael or the family, but because he has a three-year-old son he felt compelled to come here and say a prayer.

“I was telling him that some little boy his age is gone with God right now. I want him to leave his toy in remembrance of him,” he added.

The woman’s family says they don’t know how they or the mother will recover from this.

Darrius Sledge is Michael’s uncle.

“We want to support her so bad right now, we can’t. They won’t let us see her,” he said about Michael’s mother.