Little girl walks across interstate to get help after drunk-driving dad crashes. She gets hit and killed by another driver: Police

A 7-year-old Michigan girl is dead after trying to cross the street to get help for her father, who was reportedly involved in a drunk driving crash on early Sunday morning.

The Detroit News reports that little Desandra Mariah Thomas attempted to cross eastbound I-94 in Romulus, Michigan, by foot at around 3:35 a.m. when a driver accidentally hit her. The driver immediately contacted authorities and requested assistance, stating that she thought she “hit a person or animal.”

Responding troopers didn’t notice any damages to the driver’s vehicle and didn’t see a human or any animals injured nearby. The troopers then learned that the Romulus Police Department had been investigating a drunk driving crash that happened a short time earlier that morning. The little girl was in a vehicle with her father when he crashed, reportedly while driving drunk.

Thinking her father was dead (police later indicated the man was only unconscious) Desandra sent 911 numerous text messages, asking for help.

“He had struck an abandoned vehicle on I-94 right there near Merriman, lost control and went off the roadway,” Lt. Michael Shaw said. “Somewhere along the line she learned call 911 if you are in trouble and she did just that. We are just taken aback that we couldn’t find her before something happened.”

Desandra then put her backpack on and climbed over fence, attempting to find help when she was hit and killed instantly. Authorities found the girl’s body around 50 to 150 feet away from her father’s car.

“This is something we talk about all the time, drunk driving, a 100 percent preventable incident,” Shaw said. “Now … you have a father who is in jail and just lost his daughter. You have a mother who lost her daughter. A woman who is going to live for the rest of her life for hitting someone and ending up being a 7-year-old child along the freeway.”

“All of this because of poor decision-making made by an adult. This 7-year-old won’t get to go to her wedding, won’t go to a prom, won’t graduate from high school because of poor decisions.”


The girl’s father, whose name hasn’t yet been released, is in police custody. The woman who accidentally struck the little girl was released without any charges.

The story is developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

[Feature Photo: Desandra Thomas/Handout]