DEARBORN HEIGHTS (WWJ) – New information is emerging about an accident that killed three people and left one in critical condition in Dearborn Heights.
Authorities say 47-year-old Daemon Maniaci, 18-year-old Markel Jackson-Willis and 19-year-old Adnan Berisha were killed in Friday’s crash, while 21-year-old William Willis is in critical condition. The Willis’s are cousins.
Dearborn Heights Police Sgt. Al Nason said Maniaci fled an earlier hit and run accident before running the red light at Telegraph and Ford road and smashing into a Honda, sending both vehicles flying through the air.
“The black Ford Ranger pick-up was leaving the scene of another accident he was involved in on Ford Road near Evergreen and according to witnesses, blew the red light at Ford & Telegraph at a high rate of speed, striking the Honda in the passenger door, causing them both to flip over,” he said.
Nason said Maniaci was driving at least 70 miles an hour. Witnesses told police both cars went 30 or 40 feet in the air before landing in the road.
“We still have to go through and do a complete investigation even though there won’t be no prosecution so we can try and find out why all this happened and then hopefully, we can make some changes on Ford Road,” Nason said, adding that investigators will be back at the crash scene on Saturday to collect more information.
Meantime, a candlelight vigil will be held at Annapolis High School in Dearborn Heights at 8 p.m. Saturday for the teen victims.
Katrina Gouch, a cousin of the Willis’s, said her family is mourning the death of Markel Jackson-Willis while trying to stay strong for William Willis, who is reportedly clinging to life at Henry Ford Hospital.
“Markel was active in everything he did. No problems. He had a good head on his shoulders. He was ready to go to college. He filled out a lot of college applications. He was just focused about life and helping his mother out,” Gouch said. “Markel’s future was about basketball, playing college basketball and going to the NBA. William, he was just trying to make a living.”