Family upset after discovering car from son's fatal crash - WNEM TV 5

Family upset after discovering car from son's fatal crash

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Source: WNEM Source: WNEM
CARROLLTON TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

It was a tragedy for a Mid-Michigan family. Their son was killed in a night time car crash a little more than a year ago.

Now they're reliving that tragedy.

The smashed up car ended up at an abandoned sugar beet factory and it was spotted by a relative of the deceased.

It was an astonishing discovery for the grieving family and they want to know how it happened.

Thirteen months after their son's death, the Kowalewski family is hurting all over again.

"I felt very disrespected. I felt like it opened wounds that were trying to scab over," said Alicia Kowalewski, mother of deceased.

Last summer her 28-year-old son Steven was killed when his car went off the road and hit a guardrail on the McCarty Street bridge over I-675.

Recently Steven's car reappeared not far from the family's Carrollton Township home. It was being used as a training tool by the fire department.

Tuesday morning, Steven's sister was riding her bike down Carrollton Road when she saw two cars that looked like they had crashed in the parking lot. It wasn't until she got closer that she realized it was the car her brother was killed in.

"I'm hurt that the police and fire are here to protect and serve and that there was no protection for us as a family and the way my boy's vehicle was displayed publicly," said Steve Kowalewski, father of deceased.

Carrollton Township Police Chief Craig Oatten said neither the police nor fire departments realized the history behind the car and said its placement was strictly an oversight.

"We apologize for that. The difficulty with this particular case is, from time to time our fire department does request vehicles for training purposes. Our fire department was not on the scene that night that they lost their relative. If that would've been the case, I'm sure somebody would've recognized the vehicle," Oatten said.

Alicia Kowalewski said there was a very simple way to ensure this type of mistake would have never happened at all.

"Take a few minutes, look up a VIN number. That's all it would've taken. They would've seen that this was a resident of their area," she said.

Oatten said they're going to look into vehicles a little closer from now on.

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