CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The father of a 7-year-old boy who was killed in a car crash Sunday morning is charged with operating while intoxicated causing death.
Arturo Molina Mendez was driving his Kia Optima along the righthand shoulder of eastbound Hall Road just after 12 a.m. Sunday at an excessive rate of speed, the Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office said. Mendez continued into the right turn lane while approaching Heydenreich Road. He proceeded through the intersection, struck the curb on the southeast corner of the intersection, and became slightly air born before his vehicle collided with a utility pole.
His 7-year-old son was found in the backseat of the vehicle by police. He was not breathing and was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Debris from where the Kia Optima slammed right into the pole could still be found Sunday afternoon at the intersection of Heydenreich and Hall roads.
“No indication of braking, he just jumped the curb and hit the pole,” said Sgt. Chris Allis, with the Clinton Township Police Department.
Allis said the driver in a the one-vehicle accident that struck a pole with his 7-year-old son in the car wasn’t sober.
“100 percent, alcohol was a factor in this crash,” Allis said.
No other vehicles were involved in the crash.
The Prosecutor’s Office said a witness told police that he did not see brake lights prior to the vehicle striking the utility pole.
“The loss of a child is perhaps the most painful occurrence a parent can experience,” said Prosecutor Eric Smith. “However, the grief this father is dealing with does not diminish his responsibility in this case. We always encourage and even plead with drivers -- do not ever get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. But, especially during this holiday season, please exercise extra caution when on our roadways."
Mendez is scheduled for an arraignment Monday afternoon. He was injured in the crash but the severity of his injuries is not known.
Here is a report from Sunday: