ROSEVILLE, Mich. – The tragic hit-and-run crash that left a man dead and his elderly parents injured started with a stolen backpack, according to police.
The suspects allegedly stole the backpack from a Department of Public Works yard and, despite not even being chased, ran a red light in Jeep Cherokee and sideswiped the victims' Chevy vehicle. Paul McKechnie Jr., 51, was killed in the crash, and his parents, including Paul McKechnie Sr., 73. The three victims lived in Warren.
A family member wrote on Facebook that the mom in the crash suffered a head injury, two broken wrists and a suspected spinal injury.
Two suspects fled the scene of the crash. One was arrested a couple of blocks away. Police said they hope the second suspect turns himself in.
The man who was arrested has been identified as Tony Walker, 45, of Warren. He was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Walker was charged at the hospital with felony murder, operating while intoxicated causing death, reckless driving causing death and two counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury.
He is being held on $1 million bail.
Two men who were involved in a larceny in Fraser fled the scene southbound on Kelly Road in a silver Jeep, officials said. They ran a red light at 12:40 p.m. in the intersection at Masonic Boulevard and hit a gray Chevy traveling west, police said.
A 51-year-old Warren man in the westbound car was killed in the crash. A 71-year-old woman and a 73-year-old man, both from Warren, are in critical condition.
"The thing that's scary is that could have been me," said Lorrie Sakalas, who witnessed the arrest. "I come down Kelly. I go down to Masonic to go pick up my son."
The two thieves fled the crash scene on foot. A 45-year-old Warren man has been arrested, and police are still searching for the other man.
Sakalas said they two men ran right toward her house, which is two blocks away from the crash scene. She snapped a picture of the 45-year-old man, which you can see below.
"They were just telling him to stay still, stop fighting, stay still, stop fighting," Sakalas said. "They had guns drawn on the guy."
Investigation revealed the two men had stolen some items from a business in Fraser. Police said they were not chasing the Jeep, but as the men tried to get away, they crashed into the Chevy.
"It's craziness," Sakalas said. "It's just crazy why people are they way they are. Why do people steal? Get a job, you know? Get help. Get something. You don't need to do that. These people were innocent."
Police said they're searching for a 30- to 40-year-old white man who is 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall. He was wearing a light-colored T-shirt and has several tattoos, police said.
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