7-year-old Detroit girl killed while crossing I-94 after surviving drunk driving crash

ROMULUS, Mich. – Michigan State Police said a 7-year-old girl was hit and killed while crossing I-94 in Romulus early Sunday morning.

The incident happened around 3 a.m. Sunday near I-94 and Inkster Road. Police said the girl's father was involved in a drunk driving crash earlier near I-94 and Merriman Road. 

After the crash, the 7-year-old left the vehicle, grabbed her belongings, and attempted to cross the freeway, where she was hit, police said.

"There is evidence where you could see that she walked away, climbed over the fence and walked her way across I-94," said Lt. Michael Shaw.

As she walked along the freeway, the little girl texted 911, telling police her father was hurt, maybe dead, and she needed help. At about the same time, Michigan State Police received a call from a woman who feared she hit a pedestrian on I-94. Troopers did not see any visible damage to the woman's vehicle, and started looking for a victim. 

"They went out there with their flashlights, did everything they could, searched around the area but couldn't find anything," Shaw said.

MSP let the woman leave.

At the same time, Romulus police officers were investigating the young girl's father's crash about a mile-and-a-half away on I-94.

"He was very intoxicated from what they could tell from the scene. They had to help him out of the vehicle," said Shaw. "He wasn't giving any information. Nothing indicating that anyone else was in the vehicle at the time."

Police said the man lost control of his car, hit an abandoned vehicle and drove off the freeway into a fenced area of a nearby trucking facility.

His daughter's body was eventually discovered in the median about a mile away from where her father crashed. 

"We have a father that is in custody. His daughter is gone," said Shaw. "The mom's aware her daughter is gone. This woman will be affected for the rest of her life."

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism