DETROIT (WWJ) – Police say alcohol is likely a factor in a deadly crash on Detroit’s west side.

The crash happened early Tuesday morning at Ewald Circle and San Juan, near Livernois Avenue and Davison. The driver appears to have lost control around a curve and struck a tree.

One man, identified as Jamal “Gooch” Lawrence, was killed, another was taken to the hospital and a third is being questioned by police. The men range in age from 18 to 27.

Lawrence’s family was overcome with emotion at the scene.

“I heard EMS, police cars flying. I’m thinking they’re chasing somebody — it wasn’t. Come to find out it’s my stepson, his cousin and my neighbor,” Darryl Williams told WWJ’s Mike Campbell. “I don’t believe it. They was just in the back yard like five minutes ago, you know what I’m saying? When I woke up and looked, car tore up, my stepson, he’s in the hospital with a broken arm, his teeth are missing, and his cousin is laying up on the curb, dead.”

Shelitha Brown, Lawrence’s mother, was distraught when investigators kept her from getting too close to the crash site.

“A mother is not supposed to bury her children. He was adopted, but it’s tearing me up because it’s just like he’s my own,” she said. “I just want to go down there and say goodbye to my baby.”

Brown said it’s hard to believe her son lost his life.

“He was a passenger in somebody else’s car and they was joyriding, drinking and driving,” she said. “He didn’t have on a safety belt.”

Authorities say speed could also be a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.

Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and for the latest. 


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