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Driver charged in fatal crash near Shinola

Leonard N. Fleming and Mark Hicks, The Detroit News

Detroit — A driver has been charged in a bizarre crash outside the Shinola Detroit store that killed an elderly man and injured several other pedestrians, authorities announced Friday.

Deandre Merkie Simmons, 42, of Inkster, was charged Friday on six counts, including driving with a suspended license causing death; reckless driving causing death; operating under the influence causing death; and operating while intoxicated causing serious injury.

Investigators allege Simmons “was intoxicated when he drove ... on the wrong side of the street” and struck the victims as they were crossing West Canfield at about 5:15 p.m. Thursday, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement.

Detroit police reported the four pedestrians were near a vehicle display outside the store when the blue Chevy pickup “traveling at a high rate of speed” swerved and struck them. The truck continued a short distance before a passenger inside apparently grabbed the steering wheel and stopped the driver, police said.

One of the victims declined medical treatment; the three others — identified as a 73-year-old South Lyon man, a 65-year-old Milford woman and a 65-year-old Milford man — were hospitalized.

The 73-year-old, whom police said suffered severe head trauma, was critically injured and later died.

The 65-year-old woman remains hospitalized, while the 65-year-old man was treated and released, prosecutors said Friday.

Michael Woody, a spokesman for the Detroit Police Department, said a search warrant was conducted following the accident to determine if there were drugs or alcohol in the driver’s system.

Simmons is scheduled to be arraigned Saturday at 34th District Court in Romulus, prosecutors said.