OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - Police say a 33-year-old man admitted to consuming several beers before giving two 2-year-old cousins a tractor ride, leading to one of the youngster’s death.
Investigators believe 2-year-old Roman Wager of Sterling Heights fell off the tractor and died.
Anthony Steven Davis of Oakland County’s Brandon Township told sheriff deputies he drank four to six 12-ounce beers before getting on a Kubota tractor with his 2-year-old cousins at a residence on Nelson William Drive on May 29.
Davis’ blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08%, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. Police found an open can of beer on the tractor after the accident.
“Time and time again we stress the need to never mix piloting a vehicle of any kind with drinking alcohol,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “And yet, unspeakable tragedy continues to happen by this irresponsible behavior. Sadly, no one in this family will ever be the same because of a terrible choice.”
Davis was arraigned Friday with a felony charge of operating an off-road vehicle while intoxicated causing death and a misdemeanor charge of operating an off-road vehicle while intoxicated with an occupant younger than 16. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
Davis was released from custody on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond while awaiting future court proceedings on June 17 and 24.
The accident happened around 7:30 p.m. May 29 on Nelson William Drive in Brandon Township. Davis allegedly told investigators that Roman was standing on the floorboard of the Kubota and he had his arm around the boy while he was holding the other 2-year-old cousin on his lap.
Police say he could not explain to investigators how Roman fell off the tractor or how he was injured.
“One second he was there, and then he wasn’t,” Davis allegedly told Oakland County sheriff deputies.
Police found Roman unconscious and his mother performing CPR when they arrived. An ambulance rushed him to Ascension Genesys Hospital in Grand Blanc Township, where he was pronounced dead.
An autopsy showed the boy died of blunt force trauma, but investigators haven’t said whether the tractor hit him.
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