(WJBK) - Two lives were taken too soon Friday night in a four-car crash on US-23 in Summerfild Township.
Gladys Johnson, 35, and her 5-year-old daughter Za'Kira were driving when a pickup truck swerved into them. The crash caused a chain reaction, involving several other vehicles. Both of them were killed.
Police have identified the at-fault driver in the crash as Todd Moyer. Moyer was allegedly texting while driving, which led to the crash. Sources say the 37-year-old, who is an MSU strength and conditioning trainer, was arrested at the crash scene and charged Friday for reckless driving. He has since been released on bond.
Police say Gladys's car was rear-ended by Moyer. The impact forced her car into another vehicle from behind.
Police say Moyer also struck another car during the crash. No one else involved was seriously injured.
"It needs to stop. It's nothing that important that you have to text or talk, anything like that behind the wheel. If you just have to pull over and stop, but don't put other people's lives in danger, it's just not fair," says Dushawna Dickson, a family member.
They say Za'Kira was an all-around happy kid, and that Gladys was a mother who did everything right for her family.
Police initially said Gladys and her daughter were from Ohio, but then learned they're residents of Redford, Mich.
"She was very sweet, very caring person. Loved her kids. All around, just a sweet person. We love her. We loved her a lot, and we're going to really miss her," Dickson says.
The crash remains under investigation by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.
The family of Gladys and Za'Kira have created a GoFundMe page to help raise money to help bury their loved ones. CLICK HERE if you would like to donate.
UPDATE, 4:57 P.M.: MSU head basketball coach Tom Izzo released a statement:
"We are aware of the July 14 fatal accident in Monroe County involving Todd Moyer, associate strength and conditioning coach. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims' family during this difficult time. I can't imagine the pain they are feeling in losing two family members so tragically and so suddenly. As the Monroe County Sheriff's Office continues their investigation, we will be monitoring the situation."