18-year-old to face criminal charges for deadly Macomb County rollover on I-94

Teen took father's SUV, rolled vehicle on Interstate 94 in Macomb County; 21-year-old passenger killed

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. - An 18-year-old man is being guarded at his hospital bed by Macomb County Sheriff's deputies following a deadly accident on an Interstate 94 ramp about 3 a.m. Friday in Harrison Township.

The passenger in the sports utility vehicle, 21-year old Donald Larrel Smelser-Emerson, was killed in the crash. The incident started in the early morning hours, after the Macomb County Sheriff's Office received a call from the teenage driver's concerned father. The dad told police his 18-year-old son had taken his SUV and was driving without a license. A Macomb County deputy spotted the SUV in Harrison Township near 16 Mile Road and tried to pull the driver over.

"They had no lights on, it was very suspicious ... we don't know what they were up to," said Sheriff Anthony Wickersham.

When the deputy turned on his emergency lights, the teenager reportedly quickly accelerated down 16 Mile Road and tried to get onto I-94, causing the vehicle to roll over several times.

"The speeds were in excess of 60 miles at the time, probably when he made that turn and rolled over. Again it's a bigger vehicle. Very tough to keep that on the road," Wickersham said.

Smelser-Emerson was pronounced dead at the scene. The 18-year-old driver is expected to make a full recovery. He could face criminal charges related to the accident by Saturday, including driving without a license.

"If you're not doing anything wrong and you're getting pulled over, why not just pull over and let the deputy do his investigation?" said Wickersham. "Obviously they didn't want to be stopped. They didn't want to have any contact with law enforcement, and they though the best way was to take off and try and run."

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