Officials were called to investigate on Saturday after a driver reported that two kids, ages 2 and 4, were abandoned on the side of the road in Branch County, Michigan, according to WWMT News.
Evidently, the children were left standing there after their intoxicated 32-year-old father lost control of his minivan, swerved off the road (hitting several small trees) and crashed into a 20-foot-deep ditch below while they sat—unbuckled and completely unprotected—in the back seat.
Wait, did we mention there were no car seats?
Keith Eichler, undersheriff at the Branch County Sheriff's Office, told reporters that the children were lucky to be alive, stating there had already been at least six or seven deaths over the holiday weekend.
"We could've added three more onto that very easily," he said.
“The driver hid from being noticed, I guess, but left his kids alongside the road," Eichler added. "I'm not really sure what to think about that part of it, you know being intoxicated to the point … I just have no words for that.”
According to reports, a family member picked up the father and two kids before the police arrived at the scene. Police caught up with the dad a short time later and arrested him. At the time, his blood alcohol content was more than two times the legal limit (at least .17), but Eichler said it could have been so much worse, especially considering the kids were not buckled in and there were no car seats inside the vehicle.
Though little else is known about the father in question, WBTV just released his name, claiming that Chad Hewitt is "facing his third operating while intoxicated charge, as well as a child endangerment charge."
Hewitt remains behind bars in the Branch County jail, where he faces several charges.