By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – One-month-old Elizabeth Myers opened her eyes Tuesday after brain surgery resulting from a Nov. 28 crash that killed her mother.
Dawn Spicer, 36, of Detroit was killed when a semi-trailer truck slammed into the rear of her 1998 Buick about 7:30 p.m. on southbound I-75 near Goddard. She leaves behind Elizabeth, born Nov. 1, and an 11-year-old son who was not in the car.
The baby was in critical condition at Children’s Hospital of Michigan as of publication.
Spicer reportedly was leaving her father’s Lincoln Park house, where he babysat the infant for the first time.
An unidentified passenger in the vehicle suffered minor injuries.
Michigan State Police are investigating the crash. Authorities said Spicer was either stopped or slowing and partially blocking a right lane when the truck struck her vehicle.
The family is asking for help for funeral expenses and assistance for the children. A GoFundMe account — www.gofundme.com/wxcg3jek — was set up.
A fundraiser also was set for 4 p.m. Dec. 19 at Flappers Bar, 722 Southfield Road in Lincoln Park. There will be basket raffles, and 20 percent of food and drink orders are slated to be donated to the family to help with the care of the children.
Family and friends said Spicer loved being a mother and was so happy with her children. The day Elizabeth was born, Spicer posted a picture of her son holding his newborn sister saying, “Devin Aguilar is so happy and proud to be a big brother he can’t wait for us to get home so he can be with her all the time mom loves you both so much.”
MSP investigators ask anyone with information on the crash call Trooper Brad Connor, 734-287-5000.
Spicer was one of eight people who died on Michigan highways Thanksgiving weekend in eight separate crashes, according to the MSP. Three of the fatalities were pedestrians. In 2014, six people died on Michigan highway crashes during Thanksgiving weekend.
“These numbers are preliminary and only reflect those fatalities reported to the MSP as of 12 p.m. (Nov. 30,)” said Capt. Thomas Deasy, commander of the MSP Training Division. “The preliminary numbers show an increase in fatalities from this same holiday period last year. The MSP continues to urge motorists not to drink and drive, to always use proper restraints and to drive safely.”
The 2015 Thanksgiving holiday weekend ran from 6 p.m. Nov. 25, through 11:59 p.m. Nov. 29.
As part of Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort, MSP troopers conducted high-visibility enforcement focusing on impaired driving, seat belt use, careless driving and speeding.
Operation C.A.R.E. is a nationwide initiative aimed at reducing crashes and fatalities on highways across the country. It began in 1977 as a collaboration between the MSP and the Indiana State Police. Now one of the longest running safety initiatives includes state and highway patrol agencies from all 50 states and some U.S. territories and Canadian provinces.