Ferndale police officer's daughter killed by drunk driver in Shelby Township

Community rallies to help Ferndale family since 3-year-old girl was killed June 25 by drunk driver

By Karen Drew - Reporter/Anchor


Olivia Cleveland's smile would light up a room and her good nature would warm the hearts of those near her.

"She was a typical 3-year-old. She was just learning how to ride her bike without training wheels," said her aunt, Yvette Hurd.

However, Olivia would never be able to do that. She was killed June 25 when a drunk driver smashed into her family's van in Shelby Township.

"Drunk driving is not an accident," said Hurd. "It's a purposeful thing to put alcohol in your body and get behind the wheel."

Olivia's father is a police officer with the Ferndale Police Department. In fact, he was awarded a Mothers Against Drunk Driving award for his work the past two years arresting drunk drivers. Tragically, it would be a drunk driver who killed his 3-year-old daughter.

He and his wife have to comfort their other two children who survived the crash. The kids can't understand why their sister is gone forever.

"It's changed their lives forever. They are scared now. They don't sleep at night. They are scared another accident is going to happen," said Hurd.

Hurd says the family visits Olivia's grave every day. They pray the laws get tougher on drunk drivers to make sure another family does not have to bury a child.

"She was supposed to go to school for the first time. She didn't get to do that. We didn't get to go to dance class. We should be going to birthday parties. Instead, we are going to memorial services," said Hurd.

During the past few months, the community has rallied in support for the Cleveland family. On Thursday, there will be another chance for community members to show support and help them out.

Thursday's fundraiser is from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. "Remembering Olivia" will be held at Rosie O'Grady's in Ferndale. A donation of $10 gets visitors an all-you-can-eat dinner and live entertainment. There also will be raffles and a silent auction.

The money raised will help pay for funeral expenses, counseling and more.

-- Olivia Cleveland

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