Mother injured in wreck at 'Michigan's Longest Garage Sale' speaks out
A Sturgis mother was airlifted to the hospital after police said a distracted driver slammed into her car Friday while she was driving down U.S. Route 12 in St. Joseph County.
Jasmine Kilpatrick, 22, said she was wasn't among the crowd at the Michigan's Longest Garage Sale who were out looking for deals when she was hit Friday, but is hoping her story will be a warning to others.
"It was terrifying," she said.
Kilpatrick was riding in the backseat of a Honda Civic with her father and his friend. Police say the Civic was hit head-on by another driver who started to turned in front of them after becoming distracted from garage sales lining the roadway.
"We saw him start to turn, and we were like, 'Woah, woah' and then the big crash," she said.
The crash happened in front of the garage sale run by Mark Bowersox.
"Just in that split second he took his eyes off the road. I heard the sound, I turned around and looked what happened and ran right out there," said Bowesrbox.
Kilpatrick's wreck isn't the first connected to the 180-mile long yard sale stretching from New Buffalo to Detroit.
"I don't understand why they still have it going," she said.
In July 2017, while shopping at a garage sale outside of Niles, police say a 78-year-old woman was struck and killed.
In 2016, a bicyclist was hit and killed near Edwardsburg.
"I don't see how that big event on that big of a highway could be possibly safe," said Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick and the driver of her car were both airlifted to Bronson Hospital. The driver remains in the hospital. Kilpatrick received stitches in her toe, suffered a black eye, a dislocated and broken hip.
She expects to be released from the hospital on Wednesday and said she will have a long road to recovery.
The mother of three young children considers herself lucky.
"I'm so glad my kids weren't in the car, because they were supposed to be, and I decided last minute to leave them home," Kilpatrick said.
St Joseph County Sheriff Bradley Balk said he's unsure if his department will change their strategy to monitoring the area. Balk said his deputies do some directed patrols on U.S. 12 or areas where traffic might be a problem.
"It's a discussion we will have with our road patrol staff, and state police," Balk said.
Kilpatrick launched a GoFundMe page to raise money to help pay for medical bills, which will include extensive physical therapy.