One SVSU student was killed, and another was injured, in two separate crashes over the semester break.
Amber Gillespie was injured in a crash while driving to SVSU to take a final exam on Friday, Dec. 14, about 7 a.m., when she collided head-on with a truck, according to a gofundme page set up by Gillespie’s family.
The jaws of life were used to extract Gillespie from the vehicle, and “her entire left side was broken,” the gofundme page states. She suffered from internal bleeding, liver dam- age, several broken bones, and the family was told that she also suffered from a head injury.
During the first three days of her hospital stay, Gillespie had five surgeries, and she was not responsive until Dec. 17, according to the gofundme page. On that day, she was able to recognize voices of loved ones and squeeze their hands.
On Dec. 19, Gillespie’s breathing tube was removed, and she had her sedative reduced, according to the gofundme page. She has also had several additional surgeries to begin fixing her liver damage and other injuries. Now that she is beginning to regain speech and awareness, doctors will continue to address the pain and injuries she experienced from the crash.
The gofundme page to help pay for Gillepsie’s recovery costs was created on Dec. 17, and, as of Jan. 13, it had raised $17,670 of the $20,000 that the family set as the goal.
Anyone interested in donating may do so through the gofundme campaign titled AmberStrong.
Later in the semester break, Emily Knox, an 18-year-old freshman criminal justice major and Port Huron Township native, was a front-seat passenger in a traffic crash that occurred about 3:43 p.m. on News Year’s Day, according to The Times Herald.
A 20-year-old male had been driving Knox and two backseat passengers in a 2012 Camaro when the driver lost control and hit a utility pole, the Times Herald reported. The crash occurred on Pine Grove Avenue. Knox was killed during the crash.
According to police, the two backseat passengers were treated for injuries at McLaren Port Huron Hospital. Police believe that the driver may have been speeding, which is thought to have been a factor in the crash.
The investigation will continue through the Port Huron Police Department’s Accident Investigation Unit and Criminal Investigation Division, according to the Times Herald.
The St. Clair County Prosecuting Attorney’s Traffic Crash Unit will also review the case to determine if any charges will be led.
Knox graduated from the Port Huron Police Youth Academy the summer before she started at SVSU, the Times Herald reported. To honor Knox, the family has established the Emily Knox Port Huron Police Youth Academy Scholarship Fund.
Reporting from Kaitlyn Farley, Vanguard Editor In Chief