2 children dead, 15 people hurt after vehicle crashes into birthday party at boat club

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Two children were killed and 15 other people were injured after a vehicle crashed into a birthday party at a Michigan boat club on Saturday, authorities said.

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The incident occurred at about 3 p.m. EDT at the Swan Boat Club in Berlin Township, according to An 8-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy were pronounced dead at the scene, WDIV-TV reported. According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the children were siblings.

The sheriff’s office said the party was for a young child, according to the television station. He did not name the victims.

Sheriff Troy Goodnough said during a news conference that 15 people were injured, and that nine people -- three children and six adults -- were taken by ambulance or medical helicopter to an area hospital with “serious, life-threatening injuries,” WXYZ-TV reported. Several other people were taken to area hospitals by private vehicles, Goodnough told reporters.

“The scene was described by the first responders as extremely chaotic, with high level of emotions of those directly involved and those who witnessed this horrific incident,” Goodnough said, his voice cracking during the news conference.

Officials said a 66-year-old woman crashed into the building, entering about 25 feet inside, according to the WXYZ. Goodnough said the woman was taken into police custody on a charge of operating while intoxicated causing death. He added that the woman was cooperating with authorities.

The sheriff added that additional charges “will likely be brought against the driver.” He did not identify the woman.

“There’s two building there, so the area where the party was in was separate from the boat club,” Frenchtown Fire Chief Wendy Stevens said. “So there were people who were back and forth between the two areas so it’s complicated right now” to determine how many people were at the party, WXYZ reported.