Father faces charges in connection with I-94 crash that killed 7-year-old daughter

'A tragic and devastating case,' prosecutors say

ROMULUS, Mich. - Wilburt Dion Thomas, a 47-year-old man from Detroit, was arraigned on charges Saturday morning in connection with a car crash that killed his 7-year-old daughter. 

Watch the arraignment below.

Thomas was arrested Friday and placed in custody by the the Romulus Police Department. He is charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, operating under the influence, possession of marijuana and alcohol-open container.

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

According to authorities, Thomas was allegedly driving a stolen van on I-94 while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana on July 15 with his daughter in the vehicle. The van collided with a disabled car on the shoulder of the road and struck a fence. 

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

As she walked along the freeway, the little girl texted 911, telling police her father was hurt, maybe dead, and she needed help. 

"The confluence of events in this case caused the untimely death of the defendant’s young daughter. The alleged actions of the father included driving a stolen car while highly intoxicated, having open intoxicants and marijuana in the car, crashing into a disabled car and allowing his daughter to leave the car and walk alone across the highway to her death," said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy. "This is a tragic and devastating case."

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