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23-year-old body-slammed, suffers brain injury due to road rage

Posted: 6:31 PM, Feb 14, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-15 20:11:22-05
Samantha Sutherlin

WALKER, Mich. — A GoFundMe was set up for the 23-year-old Walker woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being body-slammed during a road rage incident.

It happened Thursday evening around 6:40 p.m. at the Starbuck's parking lot off of Alpine Avenue. Police were initially called to a fight in progress but reportedly a crash was involved prior.

According to court documents obtained by FOX 17, police officers discovered Samantha Sutherlin unconscious when they arrived. Witnesses told police on scene the suspect, Eric Alvarez, picked up Sutherlin in the parking lot and slammed her onto the concrete.

Witnesses took photos of the suspect afterwards and his registration prior to him leaving the scene, eventually leading to Alvarez's arrest. A witness also identified Alvarez following his arrest.

Relatives of Sutherlin say she was rushed into surgery on Thursday because of the severity of her injuries. Already, she has had surgery performed on her brain.

Doctors told her family that Sutherlin must stay in a medically-induced coma for the next seven days due to the amount of swelling on her brain.

Sutherlin's sister tells FOX 17 that her sister is "a beautiful mom" who "suffered traumatic brain injury at the hands of a stranger, some nobody. It's sickening. It's sad to know that this person could potentially take her life away from her."

Sutherlin has two young children under the age of 3. They ask you to pray for Samantha and her recovery.

On Friday, Alvarez was arraigned on charges of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder and failing to stop after a crash.

Alvarez is being held on a $500,000 bond.

Anyone who has information on the incident or saw it happen is asked to call investigators at 616-791-6788.

Sutherlin's family has also created a GoFundMe to help with medical costs.