UPDATE 2:45 PM: Michigan Attorney General, Bill Schuette, today issued the following statement regarding the tragic passing of the Michigan Department of Corrections' 2017 Parole Agent of the Year, Candice Dunn:
"Agent Dunn was a dedicated member of the Michigan Department of Corrections in Oakland County for 12 years. As evidenced by her recently being named the 2017 Parole Agent of the Year, Agent Dunn was committed to seeing those under her supervision succeed and helping guide them to a life free of crime. She will be remembered for that immense dedication to improving the lives of others and to making her community a better place. Our thoughts and prayers are with Agent Dunn's family, friends and colleagues in this very difficult time."
One of the five victims killed in the Livingston County traffic crash has been identified as Oakland County Probation Agent, Candice Dunn, who had been honored for her service just hours before the crash.
Dunn was at the MDOC's Employee Appreciation Banquet in East Lansing on Tuesday evening a few hours before the deadly crash. Dunn was selected as the Michigan Department of Corrections' 2017 Parole/Probation Agent of the Year.
"We are devastated by the loss of Agent Candice Dunn, whose passion for her work changed so many lives for the better," said Michigan Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington. "Her ambition and her drive to make Michigan a better and safer place will leave a lasting impact on our department."
Dunn was named the department's 2017 Agent of the Year in April, and said at the time that she felt humbled to receive the award.
Her 12-year career with the department included work with the Eastern District Probation Office, Troy Probation Office and as a Drug Court Agent in Wayne County.
Dunn joined the Oakland County Probation Office in Pontiac in December 2015, as an agent overseeing the Urban Drug Court and Sobriety Court programs. She also served as a trainer to her colleagues and a criminal justice instructor at South University in Novi.
She was a leader in efforts to give back to the community and organized drives to help feed hungry families and provide gifts to those in need during the holidays.
"Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues at this sad time," Washington said. "She will be greatly missed by all who knew her."
During a press conference Wednesday morning to provide updates of the crash, Michigan State Police Lt. Mario Gonzales said that a driver went through the stop sign on Argentine Road at M59, and collided with the other car going east on M59.
Lt. Gonzales said that one car was headed south on Argentine Road and was carrying four people. The driver, a 22-year-old, and a passenger in the back seat are both still alive but are in critical condition at an Ann Arbor hospital. A front seat passenger and a back seat passenger were both killed in the crash.
In the car that was going east on M59, Lt. Gonzales said that the driver, a 39-year-old, was critically injured. A front seat passenger, 36, and two people in the back seat, both 70 years old, were all killed in the crash.
The crash happened just after 10 p.m. Tuesday. Lt. Gonzales said that he was on the scene all night and calls the crash a tragedy.
"When we become police officers, they don't take away our feelings...anything like this is a tragedy. My heart goes out to those family members," he said. "There is nothing worse than driving on a scene where people are dead and we cannot do anything."
Both roads are paved roads and Lt. Gonzales said they're not extremely busy. He did say that there is a flashing yellow light at the intersection.
5 people killed in car crash in Oceola Township
Lt. Gonzales said the crash was so violent, both cars wound up in a field southeast of the intersection and off the roadway.
"We don't deal with this amount of fatalities on a regular basis," he said.