WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) - Three weeks after trying to save their lives, an EMT stopped at the crosses marking the crash that killed two Wyoming Park High School students. He wanted to pay his respects.
"I was one of the paramedics who tried to help you," he wrote in blue Sharpie on the cross for 15-year-old Krysta Howell and 17-year-old Timothy See.
"This one has touched me more than any other call I've been on," said the EMT, who didn't want to be identified because of his job in the medical field. "I still see her face in my dreams. I still see him in my dreams. It's just one of those haunting things that goes with the job."
And, he said, it's one reason he agrees with a petition drive aimed at making this stretch of road safer.
Haley Altman, a 16-year-old senior at Wyoming Park High School, has started a petition drive to get a guardrail installed along the curve where her friends died. It's on the off-ramp from eastbound Int. 196 to Chicago Drive.
The car left that ramp and rolled down a hill before crashing into a tree. The crash site is marked with not only crosses and flowers, but with messages written by friends and classmates -- on the de-barked tree and even on the small parts of the car that were left behind.
Wyoming Park senior Takunda Mavima is charged with drunken driving causing those deaths.
"I feel like if there was a guardrail there, my friends would probably still be here," Altman said. "I mean they probably would have come out with a concussion or something, or like a broken arm, but they would still be here."
Guardrails line a long straight stretch of the off-ramp but stop just before the curve. The speed limit is 25 mph.
Altman's on-line petition drive has gathered more than 100 signatures. She's hoping for 500.
"We deserve something good to happen in our community," Altman said.
She says the sharp curve comes up too quickly, and is dangerous even for sober drivers.
"Even if he wasn't drunk, if you're going too fast, it's still like posing danger for everybody," Altman said.
State police records show three other crashes near that curve since 2005, with cars leaving the road and crashing into trees. They involved speeding or careless driving, but not drunk driving, records show. Nobody was hurt in those crashes.
State Department of Transportation officials said they are studying the curve, but said even a guardrail won't always help.
"This is all under the assumption that drivers are being responsible, drivers are sober," MDOT spokesman John Richard said. "When you have alcohol and inexperienced drivers involved and speed involved, that's pretty hard for engineers to work around."
The EMT who tried to save the teens said he believes the guardrails would have made a difference.
"It could have prevented them from flipping and rolling into the trees down there," he said. "It could have saved everyone in there."
And, he said, he would not be seeing their faces in his dreams.
"Exactly. I wouldn't be having the problem I am now."
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