TAYLOR, Mich. – A Metro Detroit family is grieving while awaiting charges against a suspected drunk driver who crashed into another vehicle this week, killing a 12-year-old girl.
On Wednesday, Feb. 3, 12-year-old Phoebe Elliot was a passenger in her aunt’s vehicle, traveling westbound on Northline Road. Officials say their vehicle was slowly crossing Telegraph Road when a Ford Escape traveling southbound on Telegraph Road ran a red light and crashed into their vehicle.
Denetra Vaughn says the sound of the crash is a sound she’ll never forget.
“I thought somebody hit the building, but after that I just started hearing sirens coming from all over the place, and they were there for about two to three hours,” Vaughn said.
Law enforcement arrived at the scene and tried everything they could to save the young girl. She was given CPR at the scene and then taken to a Taylor hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Authorities say the driver of the Ford Escape is a 20-year-old man who was recently released on bond for an assault charge.
Taylor Police Chief John Blair says the driver who crashed into Elliot’s vehicle will more than likely be facing charges. Police believe that the man was under the influence when he ran the red light.
“There’s a part of his conscience ... he’s going to have to live with this one way or the other,” Blair said.
While the 20-year-old man goes through the legal process, the young girl’s family continues to grieve while also trying to repair their lives.
Elliot’s mother died some time ago, and since then her aunt and uncle have stepped into the role of her legal guardians. The 12-year-old girl was reportedly helping her aunt when the car crash took place.
“Apparently she wanted to earn a little bit of extra cash and she was helping the aunt with a paper route, so they were on the way to pick up some newspapers,” Blair said.
A GoFundMe fundraiser has been established to help the young girl’s family. So far, it has reached over $30,000.
“I think this is about supporting this 12-year-old girl’s family,” Blair said. “They’re having a tough time, they continuing to have a tough time.”
The 20-year-old driver is currently in police custody, but has not been officially charged as of Thursday evening. He recently had surgery for injuries he sustained in the car crash, and his arraignment will proceed once he recovers.
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