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Shelby Township

April 17, 2014

Mom in ICU after teen backs vehicle into her, daughter

By Sarah Wojcik
C & G Staff Writer

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A teenager backed out of a parking space at the Taco Bell at 23 Mile and Schoenherr roads and struck a woman carrying her 2-year-old daughter at approximately 6:20 p.m. April 15.

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Police are calling the incident that occurred at about 6:20 p.m. April 15 in the parking lot of the Taco Bell near 23 Mile and Schoenherr roads a tragedy all around.

A teenager backed out of a parking space in front of the restaurant and hit a mother carrying her 2-year-old daughter. The teen struck her with enough force to shatter the rear windshield of his blue Chrysler minivan.

He was with another teenager, who sat in the passenger seat.

According to the police report, the woman sustained a fractured skull, bleeding of the brain, collapsed lungs and cracked ribs. Capt. Stephen Stanbury said that the Shelby Township Fire Department transported her to Henry Ford Macomb Hospital and that her condition is critical but stable.

Stanbury said the daughter sustained minor injuries, but an ambulance took her to Children’s Hospital in Detroit in the name of caution.

“The young man wanted to back out of a parking spot and stated that he was looking behind him the whole time he was backing up,” Stanbury said. “Unfortunately, he didn’t see the mom carrying her daughter as they were stepping off the sidewalk into the parking lot.”

Stanbury said another child and the woman’s husband were with the woman, but far enough behind her to avoid the collision.

When police arrived, the young man was visibly upset and seated at a table inside Taco Bell. According to the police report, he was crying, shaking and almost unable to speak to police officers and his parents.

There also was blood in the parking lot. Stanbury said it is unusual to see blood in parking lots and that it’s not common in most accidents — even pedestrian accidents.

“He was devastated. He really was,” Stanbury said. “There were no illegal substance issues. He just made a mistake. I’m sure his life is going to be changed, as well.”

Stanbury said the teenager is back with his parents, and the investigation is still in effect. He said that an accident reconstructionist has not yet examined the vehicle and that police just have the boy’s statement that he was driving too fast.

“I hope the mom recovers from her injuries and will be all right, and I hope the young man will be OK, as well,” Stanbury said.

In an emailed statement, a representative of Taco Bell wrote, “We are saddened to learn of this unfortunate accident, and our thoughts are with those involved. We take our customers’ safety very seriously and are cooperating with authorities.”

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Sarah Wojcik at swojcik@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1029.