HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Authorities report that the driver in a crash that left three children dead is suspected of being under the influence of narcotics.
The information comes as part of a Freedom of Information Act filed by Fox 17.
The SUV was being driven by a 30-year-old woman, who was able to escape. When deputies arrived on scene, they found her frantically trying to get the kids out of the car.
Deputies say the call came in at 11:04 a.m. on February 17, 2022. Capt. Douglas says 10-12 minutes after deputies received the call, all four victims were out of the water. Sadly, two children died later that day at the hospital. A third, just 1-year-old, died Feb. 18, 2022.
Authorities confirmed the victims were Jerome Gonzales (4-years-old), Jeremiah Gonzales (3-years-old) and Josiah Gonzales (1-year-old). A Go Fund Me page for the boys indicated Jerome and Jeremiah passed away Thursday, while Josiah passed away Friday. Police confirm they all died of drowning.
Police are investigating the mother to leave the road and crash. The police report states "driver is suspected to be driving under the influence of narcotics. A blood draw was completed and results are pending."
Authorities said the retention pond was about 3-4 feet deep and frozen over with about a half-foot of ice at the time. Douglas, who was a member of the county dive team for 14-years, also said the visibility in the water was zero. The Sheriff’s Office also noted in a press release that all three children were wearing child approved safety seats at the time of the crash.
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They’re now piecing together any evidence they can in what Douglas likened to a ‘big jigsaw puzzle,’ using some witness statements to gather how the car left the road in the first place.
“Another one is cameras, if there’s cameras there,” he added. “Vehicles, as you know, they have what you guys would call a black box. There’s impressions left on the roadway, there’s impressions left in the grass, marks on the vehicle.”
Capt. Douglas indicated they have no reason to believe this was anything more than a tragic accident. He said road conditions were not dangerous at the time of the crash. He has not spoken to the driver since the day of the crash.
“I haven’t talked to her today, so I couldn’t tell you how she is,” he said. “I’m sure, probably not very good. It’s a horrible situation and I wouldn’t even know where to begin saying how she’s feeling.”
Results on the mothers' blood draw are pending.