FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (FOX 2) - After a festive day of seeing Santa, a family was struck by a stolen car on the highway – causing their car to flip and ejecting the driver of the stolen vehicle.
Andrea Acevedo’s 17-year-old daughter was with her five-year-old cousin and grandmother when a 16-year-old in a stolen Dodge Charger struck their car on Interstate 696 near Orchard Lake, Tuesday night.
"The vehicle flipped several times," Acevedo said. "After they were hit by the vehicle, they heard the sirens after that – and they thought ‘wow the police are already here.’"
The owner of the Charger, Lee Marshall, reported the vehicle stolen out of Ypsilanti two weeks prior, according to Michigan State Police. Troopers had spotted the vehicle before the accident, around 9:30 p.m., and chased down the driver.
Marshal was notified that the Challenger was found, but totaled. Now, he has to deal with the damage and car insurance.
"The detective called me and let me know that my car was involved in an accident in a high speed chase," Marshall said. During the crash, "I ended up getting notifications on my phone that I had a flat, my suspension was out, my brakes were out, the airbags were deployed."
The 16-year-old driver was thrown out of the vehicle, but somehow his seat belt remained fastened, police said. He was taken to a local hospital and is in serious condition.
A 17-year-old girl was still in the stolen car's passenger seat; she sustained non-life threatening injuries.
A stolen gun was also found in the Challenger, according to police.
"Very unfortunate that at such a young age he's getting involved in that kind of stuff," Marshall said.
As for the other victims in the second car – the grandmother is still undergoing x-rays, the 5-year-old was examined but uninjured, and Acevedo’s daughter is still in shock.
"My daughter has never seen anything like this in her life and she absolutely is traumatized from this right now," Acevedo said "My daughter was ill, throwing up. She is complaining of her neck, her head, and her back hurting – the right side of her body."
"I could be talking to you right now about the loss of my daughter," Acevedo continued. "We are blessed and lucky that that didn’t happen, but we still have a road to recovery now."
Regarding the police chase, according to MSP policy, a chase is permissible if a felony has been committed. Stealing a vehicle is considered a felony and can result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Along with insurance, Marshall will most likely have to wait for the criminal investigation to be completed before he is able to purchase another vehicle. He said he will not be getting another Challenger, as it is just not worth the risk of it being stolen once again.