WARREN, Mich. (FOX 2) - It happened in an instant: A suspected drunk driver slammed into a family car late Wednesday night, killing a 4-year-old in Roseville. The family, as you would expect, is devastated.
Cayden Waldroph's life was brief. He should have spent the Fourth of July watching some fireworks, maybe playing in the pool, eating something grilled. Instead, he was killed the night before by a suspected drunk driver.
"He was a very, very sweet kid he cared about everybody's feelings. He was a great big brother," said his mom, Teal Waldorph.
The accident happened around 11 p.m. Wednesday at Little Mack Avenue and Masonic. A black GMC Yukon slammed into a white Mercury Milan, driven by Joe Emond. Inside the car with him were his kids: 4-year-old Cayden and 2-year-old Aubrey.
"Best time of my life. That was my little buddy," Joe said. "The only thing I remember is waking up in the ambulance with my daughter. I remember being in the ambulance with her. But I don't even remember getting to the hospital."
Cayden was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Aubrey survived the crash with minor injuries. As the family left the hospital, they couldn't find a way to explain the tragedy to their little girl.
"We were leaving the hospital, and she asked where Cayden was and I didn't know what to tell her," Teal said. "They did everything together. She copied everything he did. Everything."
Roseville police said the man driving the SUV is a 34-year-old from Detroit. He's believed to have been under the influence but a blood sample will determine if that's true. He was released from custody, pending the outcome of the investigation.
"If the person was under the influence, like they said he was, when blood test results come back, I hope he rots in prison," Joe said.
Together, Teal and Joe are hopeful that someone who's drinking tonight, tomorrow, or any night will hear their plea and sorrow and think before driving.
"Actually care about people's lives and if you're going to drink or take drugs - not to drive. There's Uber, there's Lyft, there's taxis. Everything," Joe said.
The family has a bit of a glimpse of comfort. Before he was killed, he was able to watch a fireworks show.