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Ypsilanti mother finds son badly injured after collision with Washtenaw County Sheriff’s vehicle

‘Please, don’t stop breathing. Don’t die’

Crash invovling Washtenaw County deputy leaves pair on motorcycle badly injured
Crash invovling Washtenaw County deputy leaves pair on motorcycle badly injured

YPSILANTI, Mich. – A Washtenaw County mother had her biggest fears realized right before her eyes Thursday night.

On her way home from work, she came upon a collision between a Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office vehicle and a motorcycle. The motorcycle belonged to her son and she quickly discovered he and his girlfriend we badly injured.

Washtenaw County Sheriff’s deputies driving southbound on Harris Road, near Lester Avenue, where it made a U-turn by Grace Fellowship Church.

A photograph taken shortly after the crash captured the motorcycle underneath the patrol vehicle. Neither riders -- Derrick Lyttle Jr., 23, and Heather Dunn, 21 -- were wearing a helmet at the time.

The collision happened a block from Lyttle’s home and his mother, Carrie Craiger, came upon the scene.

“I noticed the back end of his bike and I said ‘No, no, no, no,’” Craiger recalled. “I ran out of the car and Heather was screaming and I made my way to my son and it was shallow breathing that didn’t look like he was breathing at first.”

Craiger said Dunn suffered broken ankles and chest wounds, and Lyttle was more severely injured with head and neck injuries.

“I was yelling at him, ‘Please, don’t stop breathing. Don’t die. Please, don’t stop breathing,’” Craiger said.

Emergency medical crews rushed the couple to St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, where Craiger was able to speak with Dunn.

“Heather said they knew it was coming and she just closed her eyes,” Craiger said. “She just knew it was coming. There was nothing they could do.”

Lyttle underwent emergency surgeries overnight.

“He’s still unconscious,” Craiger said. “He’s on a breathing tube. He’s on a ventilator and I just been talking to him they said he can hear me. He had tears coming out of his eyes.”

Michigan State Police have taken over the investigation in the crash. The deputies in the patrol vehicle were not injured.


You can help

GoFundMe: Help Derrick and Heather survive a tragic accident -- click here.


About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.