MSP: SUV that hit 3 kids found, driver identified

Branch County

SHERWOOD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan State Police say they have found the SUV that left the scene after hitting three children in rural Branch County Monday.

Investigators said they got a tip Tuesday about where to find the Chevrolet Equinox and tracked it down to a home on Hackman Road near M-66 north of Sturgis.

The driver, a 42-year-old Sturgis man whose name has not been released, is cooperating with MSP’s investigation. He had not been arrested as of Tuesday.

He gave a sample of his blood for toxicology testing and investigators are going through his cellphone. Police are also looking through the SUV. Once MSP wraps up its investigation, it will be sent to the prosecutor, who will make a decision on charges, according to Detective Sgt. Matt Berry.

Investigators are thanking the community for leading them to the vehicle.

“We know social media was huge. A lot of information went out through social media and what I can say on the tip that we received, it was a local person who fortunately was just paying attention to their surroundings,” Berry said.

The house where the SUV was found is about 11 miles from where the crash happened Monday afternoon on Ralston Road near Arney Road in Sherwood Township, southwest of Union City. Police say the SUV hit three siblings as they rode their bikes and then drove off.

A 13-year-old boy, Landen, had to be airlifted to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo and remained in critical condition Tuesday.

Roman, a 6-year-old boy, had surgery for a femur fracture, and Landen is in a Pediatric Intense Care Unit with a head injury.

Police say a 14-year-old girl was treated for less serious injuries.

Neighbor Tammy Clipfell says some in the community went to look for the vehicle themselves and is offering prayers to the family. She is shocked the driver crashed into the bikes on the road.

“Any sane person driving down that road paying attention to what they’re doing — There is nothing that would have obstructed their view from those kids. Nothing,” Clipfell said.

Those who would like to support the family by helping with medical expenses can donate on their GoFundMe page.

**Editor’s note: Authorities originally released different ages for the children. Family clarified their ages to News 8 on Tuesday.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Stories On WOODTV.com

Know something newsworthy? Report It!