16 family members hit by car in Watertown Township, Michigan; 2 deaths


A woman is facing criminal charges after authorities say she was behind the wheel when her vehicle plowed into a group of 16 family members in Michigan, killing two and sending the rest to hospitals in what could be a drunken driving incident.

The crash occurred Saturday evening in Watertown Township, about 12 miles northwest of downtown Lansing.

The victims of the fatal crash ranged in age from 2 to 61, according to the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, which along with more than a dozen other agencies in greater Lansing responded to the tragic wreck over the weekend.

The crash killed a 30-year-old Grand Haven man and a 42-year-old Grand Ledge man, while 14 other victims were sent to hospitals, according to a statement on the sheriff’s office Facebook page.

As of Monday morning, officials have not identified the victims or said where they are from, but have released the ages of those transported to hospitals: 2, 2, 3, 6, 6, 7, 8, 16, 27, 28, 32, 33, 38 and 61.

Six family members remained hospitalized, the sheriff’s office said Sunday evening, adding that eight had been released.

“It is with heavy hearts that we pray for all the individuals and families affected by this incident. We are here for all of you,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook.

Driver fled the scene, later arrested

The sheriff’s office said the crash happened on South Wacousta Road around 6:30 p.m.

The woman driving the vehicle fled the scene but was later arrested several miles away, the sheriff’s office wrote in an updated release posted early Sunday.

Live updates: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has died in a helicopter crash

The suspect who hit the Michigan family was reportedly driving drunk

As of Monday, officials had not identified the person behind the wheel, but the Lansing State Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, reported that a 35-year-old Gratiot County woman was being held in the Clinton County Jail and would be booked. face charges on unspecified charges in connection with the fatal collision.

“Alcohol is believed to be a factor in this incident,” Lt. Dan Spitzley of the sheriff’s office wrote in the news release, adding that the crash remained under investigation Monday.

The 35-year-old driver was expected to be arraigned on Monday.

The sheriff’s office did not say what the suspect was arrested for.

Community mourns ‘senseless tragedy’

News of the fatal wreck quickly drew responses from people on the sheriff’s social media page.

“A senseless tragedy. My prayers are for this entire family. Thank you for this update,” someone posed with an update on the page on Sunday evening.

The Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan, which has a camp near the crash site, has organized a cookie donation drive for responding agencies.

Contributions: Lansing State Journal staff

Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her at X @nataliealund.