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Siblings, 5 and 8, killed when suspected intoxicated driver crashes into child's birthday party in Michigan

Several other people were injured, including nine victims with "serious, life-threatening injuries," the Monroe County sheriff said.
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Two young siblings were killed when an intoxicated driver crashed into a Michigan business where a child's birthday party was being held Saturday, authorities said.

The vehicle hit a building at Swan Boat Club in Berlin Charter Township around 3 p.m. It came to a stop 25 feet inside, where the party was taking place, Monroe County Sheriff Troy Goodnough said at a news conference Saturday evening.

The siblings, a 5-year-old boy and his 8-year-old sister, were declared dead at the scene, he said. It was not immediately clear if the party was for either of the children, and their names have not been released.

Andrew Brodie, the superintendent of Flat Rock Community Schools, an area public school district, said a third sibling survived with "severe injuries."

Approximately 13 others were injured, including nine people who were hospitalized with "serious, life-threatening injuries," Goodnough said.

Those nine — three children and six adults — were rushed to medical facilities by ambulance or University of Michigan medical helicopter, he said.

Ambulance near Swan Boat Club in Berlin Charter Township, Mi.
An ambulance near Swan Boat Club in Berlin Charter Township, Mich., where two children were killed when a driver crashed into a building Saturday.WDIV

Several other people who were injured took private vehicles to hospitals, the sheriff said. Their conditions were not available.

Goodnough said first responders described the scene as “extremely chaotic with high level of emotions.”

He said the driver, a 66-year-old woman, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, causing death. It wasn't clear if she required medical attention.

The woman's name was not released. Additional criminal charges will likely be brought against her, Goodnough said.

He said the driver may have been at a nearby bar and grill, and investigators want to find out what took place there.

"We went in, we shut the business down, and we’re in the process of executing a search warrant for information," Goodnough said.

The venue did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Swan Boat Club, in the community of Newport, is about 30 miles south of Detroit on Lake Erie. The venue's website states that it is also a membership club with docks available by annual fees.

It said on Facebook that it will be closed through the weekend. "Please keep all the people and families in attendance in your prayers," it said.