Mom traumatized after van hangs off I-196

A minivan teetered on teh edge of I-196 in Georgetown Township after a crash. Photo courtesy: mlive.com/John Tunison. (Jan. 23, 2014)
A minivan teetered on teh edge of I-196 in Georgetown Township after a crash. Photo courtesy: mlive.com/John Tunison. (Jan. 23, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The driver of a minivan that was left hanging over the edge of I-196 said the experience was terrifying.

“I just try to tell myself not to think about it,” Ann Sare told 24 Hour News 8 Friday.

Sare said she was driving her boyfriend to work Thursday morning while their 3-year-old son Ezekiel was in the back seat. They were near the Chicago Drive exit in Grandville when the minivan hit a patch of ice.

Even though Sare was driving slower than the speed limit, she lost control. The van started spinning. A pile of snow along the guardrail acted like a ramp, and when the van came to a stop, its rear end was hanging off the highway.

“I didn’t even know we were over the edge until there was a guy that told us all to hurry up and get out,” Sare said. “When we first had stopped and we thought something was leaking and something was maybe going to blow up or something — and to get out and see my car like that was devastating.”

All three escaped the van unharmed, but Sare told 24 Hour News 8 the incident was traumatizing.

“I love my family very much. And for me as a mom to sit there and look at my car and to think about it being the way it was, and I have a 5-year-old son who may not have had his mom and dad and brother to come home to,” she said.

She said it’s a miracle the van didn’t go crashing over the edge.

“My grandmother and their dad’s grandfather passed away many years ago, but we say both of them threw their hands out at the back of our van and stopped our van from going over,” Sare said.

She said images of what could have happened keep running through her mind.

“Life is too short. It’s really just made us have a huge, huge awakening. It really did,” Sare said.

Her son, she said, has been taking the crash in stride. He has seemed undisturbed and hasn’t asked about it.

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