Charges are being sought against a suspected drunk driver who authorities say ditched his two young children after crashing his minivan.
A driver found the children sitting along County Line Road in Branch County on Saturday afternoon.
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 and we could've added three more onto that very easily,” he said.
Eichler said a 32-year-old Novi father lost control and went off the road. The van hit several small trees before dropping about 20 feet into a ditch.
“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 the man 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 super drunk, meaning his blood alcohol content was at least .17, or more than two times the legal limit.
A driver stopped when they saw the children, but soon after a family member picked up all three and left. The man was spotted a short time later in Coldwater and arrested.
Eichler said 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,” he said.
Eichler said the father also did not put seat belts or have a car seat for his children. They were not hurt.
The man is in the Branch County Jail facing several charges. His name has not been released pending arraignment.
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