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Posted on Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

Police: Public played key role in helping US-23 crash victims; 911 tapes offer no clues to hit-and-run

By Kyle Feldscher

Warning: The second 911 call contains descriptions of where victims were found following Friday afternoon's crash. Reader discretion is advised.

Ashley Siegel's age has been correct. She was 11, not 12.

Police say 911 calls made after Friday's crash that killed two Royal Oak children reveal nothing about a second vehicle involved in the crash, though they help emphasize the public's role in the immediate response to the tragedy and the search for a hit-and-run suspect.


Michigan State Police investigate a fatal accident Friday afternoon on US 23 South near Michigan Avenue.

Jeffrey Smith |

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derrick Jackson said the calls were two of about 15 similar calls made to Washtenaw County dispatchers reporting the accident just after 3 p.m. Friday on southbound US-23 south of Michigan Avenue.

The Michigan State Police are calling the incident a hit-and-run crash and are still searching for a woman who was driving a silver Honda Odyssey that they believe moved into the victims' lane.

None of the 911 calls following the crash mentions a hit and run or a suspect vehicle, according to Jackson.

However, the first caller in the audio recordings presented at the end of this story mentioned a number of people who had stopped on the side of the highway to help the injured victims. The second caller gave an accurate description of how many people were injured in the crash. Officials said Tuesday that both calls - along with others -helped ambulance, police and fire crews appropriately respond to the crash.

Witnesses and the driver of the 1999 Ford Expedition, Dawn Siegel, told police the Odyssey drove away after sideswiping the full-size SUV, causing the Expedition to roll several times and end up upside down in the median. Siegel was driving with her four children and two step-children.

Jordan Siegel, 14, and Ashley Siegel, 11, were both declared dead at the scene of the crash. Their funerals were scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Police are calling the severity of the accident "exceptionally violent." However, the public's response has provided critical assistance.

The first 911 call indicates a number of people stopped at the scene of the accident and attempted to help out the family. Huron Valley Ambulance spokeswoman Joyce Williams said these bystanders can play a vital role in medical personnel’s response to a tragic accident.

“There are always things bystanders can do,” she said. “They can fetch equipment, they can stay with people who are clearly shaken up.

"People are able to hold someone’s hand or just stay with them, because people are going to be very upset and in shock, and to have one person focusing on them (helps).”

Huron Valley Ambulance dispatchers often ask for a 911 caller’s name, phone number, address and the location of the emergency they’re reporting before getting into details, Williams said.

Often, the number of people who are injured in an accident or incident and the severity of their injuries is the most important thing for medical personnel to know when heading to a scene, she said.

Dispatchers will often want to know if injured people are breathing or bleeding to prepare first responders as well, she said.

“If you have an accident, then you want to know how many people (are injured),” she said. “That’s one of the biggest things we’ve gotta know. If we have a lot of patients, we need to send more units.”

Jackson said deputies are usually most concerned about the seriousness of the injuries in an accident. With the level of “traffic accident” ranging from mild fender bender to the tragic situation on US-23 on Friday, it’s important for deputies to know how serious the situation is.

“The more information the deputies have the better prepared they are to respond,” he said. “If they’re responding to a suspect fleeing, more information about the potential suspect (can allow) them to be looking for the suspect as they approach the scene.”

Michigan State Police investigators are still looking for any information that can lead to an arrest in the case. The woman driving the Honda Odyssey, reported to be silver with heavy front-end damage, was described as being in her 40s, according to police.

Anyone with information on the incident is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK UP (773-2587) or the Michigan State Police Brighton Post at 810-227-1051. If calling the post, ask for Trooper Nolan Pryzyblo, the lead investigator on the case.

Funeral services for the children were arranged by the Dorfman Chapel in Farmington Hills.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Fri, Jun 29, 2012 : 4:33 p.m.

I will be going to the County Clerk office next week to get permission to start a funding for the family. It will be through the University of Michigan Credit Union. I will be posting the information for the public as soon as it is completed. Heartfelt sympathy for the family Mrs. Chisolm


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 4:44 p.m.

I have been following this very tragic story, and am confused about the dynamics of the accident. If the Odessey cut in front of her, as the driver reported, then she swerved into the median, how was she also sideswiped, and how would the damage be on the other driver's front end? Wouldn't the Odessey have been spinning around, also? Was this Expedition more likely to roll due to being made for the 1999 vehicle year? How does speed play a part in all of this? As an SUV driver, all of this concerns me. I am driving now in the right hand lane as much as possible.

Red Floyd

Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 3:44 p.m.

When a temporary paper tag (that paper license plate taped to the inside of the rear window) is issued by a dealership, the application for title and registration is also sent to the state for processing. Once the state has processed the paperwork, then a real plate will be sent out and the information will be in the database. Assuming the Honda's paper plate is legitimate, and within the two week period (those paper plates are only technically valid for 2 weeks), the state would not have that info in their database yet. However, I see cars on a frequent basis with a sun-faded and illegible temp tag in their rear window, and I know those cannot be valid. Call my cynical, but anyone who so violently hits and then runs also probably lacks the moral integrity to keep their registration current.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

First, why are so many assuming that the police are not investigating any temporary tags issued to a Honda Odyssey? Second, does anyone know if temporary paper tags issued by car dealerships are registered into a state database? If not it would be very difficult to check every new and used car dealership in Michigan or Ohio let alone every other possible state. They will probably have to get a permanent play in the next few days, maybe a better chance to watch vehicles registered since the crash and follow those leads. Or better yet, please, if anyone spots a possible match to the suspect car call the police, this will help the detective a lot more than questioning their skills.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 11:48 p.m.

The beauty about this wonderful country is the willingness of ordinary citizens to help out during a distressful situation. You would not want to be in a situation like this in a lot of countries. So much for multi-culturalism


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

"So much for multi-culturalism"? Care to explain that "hit and run" comment? Are you insinuating that all the people helping were of a single culture or ethnicity?


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 9:35 p.m.

That's great that people called 911 but putting on here for ALL to hear is very disrespectful to The Seigel family and anyone who knows them. You should remove the calls, at least...


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 2:24 a.m.

Yeah, but it does help those who are grieving to understand what has happened and not to let it happen again. Very sad.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 9:32 p.m.

I can NOT accept the notion that Secretary of State (S.O.S.) cannot furnish a list of vehicles issued temp paper plates in the last 30 days. Yes, maybe they were from another state, maybe it was stolen, maybe it was fake, maybe it was grey instead of silver, maybe it was a Nissan instead of a Honda. Even if there were 2000 vehicles in the list, a simple sort, by make, model, and color would give the police investigators something real to work with. The simplest solution is the best one. Then use a more complicated strategy and theory as necessary. But do the easy one(s) first. A Statistical Analysis System (SAS) program written by a beginner learning the programming language based on a S.O.S. database or backup tape is less than 10 lines of code, including comments and job control language. U of M hospital uses such a programming system, please have them volunteer to perform this public service.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 9:45 p.m.

Lots of nice buzzwords.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 9:28 p.m.

I agree that the second 911 call should not have been published. It is far too graphic and really doesn't need to be heard. I'm thinking of the people who knew these people.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 7:54 p.m.

The early reports on the local tv news reported that the driver was believed to be of Middle-Eastern descent. In addition, they reported that the Honda Odyssy had a temporary (paper) license plate, which leads me to wonder why the Secretary of State couldn't track down a Honda Odyssy to which a temporary tag was recently issued.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 2:23 a.m.

Remember that hit and run years ago? I believe they found that vehicle two years later in someones garage. I hate to say it, but this is where that van might be found? Good luck, but I hate to say it, if you can bump it yourself? Then that van will never be recovered. So sad.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 8:53 p.m.

I thought of that, as you did. Now I wonder if there are any people who use fake temporary tags in vehicle windows (and I'd never thought of that possibility before). I'm sure body shops, etc. have been alerted in case the vehicle is brought in. Since the vehicle was going in the direction of Ohio, I assume that body shops in Ohio and Ohio State Police have been alerted also.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

Thank you "Superior twp" I have heard the same thing. It seems that if this information is correct, putting it out there would help a great deal in finding the suspected hit and run driver! Are we so afraid of offending people that we are willing to prolong finding this individual rather than state their ethnicity? I see people referred to as black and white all the time.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 9:25 p.m.

Uh, I think you should read the authors response.

Kyle Mattson

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

Hi CC- Please see Kyle Feldscher's reply to Superior Twp voter's comment for an explanation as to why it was not included.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 7:36 p.m.

I fail to see the necessity of including the 911 calls in an article. A summery of their information should be enuff. Do people really want to listen to that? Does the public want to check on the promptness of the response? Or, like many posters on, perhaps correct the grammar of the callers? Seems like waaaay too much information.....


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 11:33 p.m.

Have they been disabled?

Craig Lounsbury

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

then don't click on it.

Superior Twp voter

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 6:39 p.m.

Mr. Feldscher and Staff - I'm confused. Detroit media outlets have stated the woman driving the silver minivan (presumably a Honda Odyssey) was possibly of Middle Eastern ethnicity. Are you being "politically correct" in not reporting that also, or has it been proven untrue?


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.

Is it important? What if the woman was Italian or Spanish - could you tell the difference from 15 feet? Considering that, statistically, the vast majority of people can't differentiate between individuals of Korean, Japanese and Chinese descent, how can we rely on somebody's description of an individual who may or may not originate from what is essentially the entire Mediterranean basin and adjoining regions?

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

Glad to be of service.

Superior Twp voter

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

Thank you very much, Mr. Feldscher, for checking on this and your prompt reply.

Kyle Feldscher

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 6:48 p.m.

Superior Twp voter - I spoke with Sgt. Bachmeyer at the state police this afternoon and asked him about the "Arabic" part of the description. He told me he wasn't aware that was part of the suspect's description in this case. I'm not trying to be politically correct, I am only reporting what police can confirm for me.


Tue, Jun 26, 2012 : 6:15 p.m.

I still cannot comprehend the sheer lack of integrity (and humanity) on the part of the Honda Odyssey driver to not come forward. My heart goes out to the victims, as well as all of their family and friends.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 4:26 p.m.

The reality might be that there was never actually any contact between the minivan and the SUV. Ultimately, the SUV might simply have been cut off, and responded with inappropriate vehicle inputs which resulted in a departure from the roadway and a subsequent roll. I have my own suspicions regarding how this all played out, which take into account how people *really* drive, the distances they *actually* allow between vehicles, and their true mannerisms when it comes to both changing lanes, and allowing others to do the same. However, due to the speculative nature of my views, I'll keep them to myself.


Wed, Jun 27, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

I tried to vote up but my finger didn't hit my phone screen right. Please ignore the down vote, as I can't undo it but would really like to.