Deputies: Suspected drunken driver left kids on the side of the road after crash
Branch County Sheriff deputies are investigating after they said a suspected drunken driver ditched his two young children on the side of the road after crashing his minivan.
A driver found the children sitting along County Line Road in Branch County on Saturday . Undersheriff Keith Eichler said the children are lucky they weren't killed.
“Watched the report that there was at least six or seven deaths already this holiday weekend," Eichler said. "We could've added three more onto that very easily.”
Eichler said the 32-year-old father from Novi lost control, hit several small trees, then drove off the road dropping into a ditch about 20 feet deep.
“It's not a gradual incline down into the ditch," should be 20 feet down the road. Gets off the road and right straight down in,” Eichler said.
Police said he then abandoned a 2-year-old and 4-year-old on the side of the road.
“The driver hid from being noticed, I guess, but left his kids alongside the road. I'm not really sure what to think about that part of it of it, you know being intoxicated to the point … . I just have no words for that,” Eichler said,
He said preliminary reports show the man was highly intoxicated, meaning his blood alcohol content was at least .17, or more than two times the legal limit.
Soon after the incident a family member picked up all three and left. The man was spotted a short time later in Coldwater and then arrested.
Eichler says the whole ordeal could have ended much worse.
“It may not have occurred to you know from this incident itself, occurred from another vehicle coming down through here not seeing them and taking some more kids out and thank God that didn't happen,” Eichler said.
Eichler says the father also did not put seatbelts or have a car seat for his children. However, they were not hurt in the crash
The man is in the Branch County Jail facing several charges.