Wrong-way crash victim ‘a great man’

(Courtesy of Bill Foster Memorial Fund website)

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Family members say the Wyoming man killed last week in a crash caused by a wrong-way driver loved his family and the outdoors.

Bill Foster, 52, was killed Thursday evening when a westbound SUV slammed into his minivan in the eastbound lanes of I-96 near Marne, causing the van to catch fire.

“It makes it even harder ’cause there was never a chance to say goodbye,” his sister-in-law Barbara Foster said.

The driver of the wrong-way SUV, 32-year-old Heather Luke, was hospitalized. Family said Sunday she was showing some signs of improvement, but remained in critical condition.

Authorities say Luke turned around on the highway to head into oncoming traffic. It’s unknown why.

Foster’s family said that for them, the reason doesn’t really matter.

“You can’t change things. The way things are is the way things are,” Barbara Foster of Hudsonville said. “He (Bill) would have forgiven and moved on completely.”

Bill Foster’s Facebook page shows his affection for West Michigan, with photos and videos of the outdoors at their most beautiful.

“He loved life to the fullest,” Bill Foster’s brother Paul Foster said. “He would enjoy life in ways other people couldn’t.”

Paul Foster said his brother was a “great man” who “loved beautiful things.”

“He loved to make people laugh,” Barbara Foster recalled. “He was a life’s-too-short, keep-your-family-close kind of man.”

They choose to think of his last moments as pleasant, rather than recalling the images of the crash.

“I do picture him riding in the van, jamming out some heavy metal and whistling and looking at the clouds,” Paul Foster said.

Funeral arrangements for Foster are still being worked out, though a Sunday post on a memorial fund website said an anonymous donor offered to pay for the services. Money still raised through the fund will go toward other arrangements like cemetery costs and a headstone. Foster’s wife and his two youngest children will receive whatever is left over.

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