Mother of 7-year-old killed crossing I-94 says, 'She would help anybody'

Posted at 4:55 PM, Jul 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-17 08:22:04-04

The mother of a 7-year-old girl who was killed while trying to get help for her father who was allegedly drinking and driving speaks on the girl's giving nature.

The incident occurred Sunday morning in Romulus. Police say the father was driving drunk with the child in the car when he crashed. 

Desandra Mariah Thomas, 7, was trying to cross the street when she was hit by a car and killed. 

Dria Burts, Desandra's mother, is heartbroken losing her youngest child who she called the light of the family. 

“She wanted to be a gymnast. That’s what she wanted to be when she grew up,” Burts said. 

Desandra had a spark in her, her mother said. 

“She liked flipping. She was a girly girl tom boy if we can put it to say the least," she said. "She’d like to carry a purse but she’d flip right off that porch with that purse on her shoulder."

And the young girl was known for being a helper. 

“She would help anybody," Burts said. "She’d help anybody that needed help. She’d give you the shirt off her back. In her little class the teacher had her as her helper.”

Burts added that Desandra loved her father, who was allegedly driving drunk with her in the car before crashing. 

"She died trying to save him," Burts said. "Trying to do what she thought was right. Doing what I taught her to do."

After the car crash, Desandra was able to get out of the wrecked vehicle and proceeded to seek help for her father who she believed was dead. 

“Can you send help," read the text message Desandra sent to 911 shortly after the crash. "My daddy and I have been in an accident and I believe my daddy is dead.”

She was hit by a car on I-94 just moments after sending the text, police say. 

Desandra's father will face drunk driving charges and possibly more, but Burts says she doesn't blame him. 

‘I forgave him already," she said. 

She added that she knows he's mourning like she is. 

“Well it’s not even a shocked thing because sometimes grownups make kid decisions," Burts said. "It’s just that simple. I don’t think he thought in a million years, that his drinking and driving would have cost his daughter his life." 

A GoFundMe page has been created here