The driver of a stolen truck crashed into a couple with six children during a police chase in Michigan, killing them both, police and family say.
The chase began at about 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 6, when state troopers spotted a stolen pickup truck, a 2006 Ford Super Duty, behind a Detroit gas station, Michigan State Police said in a Jan. 6 news release. The driver, a 35-year-old man, reversed the truck, nearly hitting the trooper’s car, then drove onto a freeway with police in pursuit, MSP said.
As the chase went on, the driver switched off his headlights, police said. He was driving against the flow of traffic, lights still off, when he slammed into an SUV with two people inside.
The occupants, a 45-year-old man and 43-year-old woman from Farmington Hills, were pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
They were Ryan and Jen Ambrosio, father and mother to six, family told WJBK.
“They were so loved, by so many of us. Their families, friends, church, and community groups are reeling from this shocking loss,” said a GoFundMe page started by the family.
The couple was heading home after a date night when they were hit, according to the family.
Their children range in age from 2 to 9, family said.
“They now have to navigate life’s ups and downs without their parents by their side,” the GoFundMe said.
As of midafternoon on Jan. 9, more than $260,000 had been raised for the family.
Noriko Ernest, music director at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, teaches piano to three of the kids, who he called “very well-mannered” and “very quiet and shy,” WJBK reported.
“So many people are generously donating and they deserve it, they are that kind of people.” Ernst told the station. “We want to help. They were always there for people.”
The driver of the stolen truck and a 29-year-old female passenger were taken to a hospital in serious condition “but are expected to survive,” police said.
Officials have not announced any charges, but an investigation is underway.
Farmington Hills is a suburb of Detroit, roughly 20 miles northwest of the city’s downtown.
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