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Archive for Sunday, August 6, 2006

Woman to go to school after crash mix-up

August 6, 2006

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— It's back to school for a woman misidentified as a college classmate killed in a traffic accident, according to her family's online blog.

"She will do fine at (Taylor University), taking a lighter load of classes and continuing her therapies," Whitney Cerak's family wrote.

Cerak, 19, of Gaylord, was among nine people from Taylor University in Indiana riding in a school van that collided with a tractor-trailer on April 26.

Five people died in the crash, including Laura VanRyn, a 22-year-old Taylor senior.

VanRyn's mother and father were mistakenly told that she was alive while Cerak's parents were told that their daughter, whose injuries initially left her in a near-comatose state, was dead.

VanRyn's family and boyfriend kept vigil at Cerak's bedside for five weeks before realizing the error.

Taylor spokesman Jim Garringer said university administrators are excited about Cerak's return and are looking into what they can do to assist the Cerak family. Classes begin Aug. 29.

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