Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Tragedy in Saline today

Sitting in my office, overlooking Michigan Ave downtown Saline I can watch the world go by. I can watch a procession of cars file into Oakwood Cemetary. I watch an elderly (yes, elderly) couple walk hand in hand down the sidewalk each morning. I watched the low old buildings across the street face demolition and look forward to watching the new Concannon project go up some day. Soon, I hope. I watch race weekend traffic go west, then east again through town.

I can also hear the world go by.
Mostly sirens, booming truck traffic and noisy mufflers. Mostly sirens, though.

This morning when I heard one siren, then another and another as the entire police and fire departments' fleets sped west on Michigan Ave. I said a prayer then called to find out what had happened. "A bad, bad accident," said the dispatcher. Something told me this was going to be really sad. I got in my car, with a camera and notepad and pulled out behind a white squad car heading to the accident.

Officer Dave was stopping traffic three miles or so out of town, diverting cars through the back roads to avoid the accident. "No, you don't want to go down there for pictures yet," he said. I drove up as far as I could, bundled up and started walking, keeping my eyes fixed on the display of red and blue flashing lights up ahead.

Detective Don Lupi was in a squad car and rolled down his window. "There was a fatality. Can't see why you can't go down there if you want to," he said pointing to the flashing lights a quarter mile further along Michigan Ave. It was drizzling a really wet snow.

The road was empty so I walked carefully down the middle of the highway as the last fire engine and Saline police car drove away from the mess. Nobody was around. The sirens had stopped. It was really quiet.

One state police car was left, two officers making notes. I looked at the mangled little blue car sitting in the ditch and said another prayer. "Can't have you taking pictures here, maam." said the Michigan Statie (those guys always scare me). I understood (though legally, I couldv'e made a stink and taken more photos, my editor reminded me later).

I turned and walked back to my car. Said another prayer for all the guys working in the icy cold. For the families of the victims. Wasn't until later Brian Cox found out from the staties in Ypsi (who handled the report) that a Saline High School student was the victim. How absolutely awful.

Throughout the afternoon and early evening I talked to high school counsellor Michelle Monahan (an old neighbor whom I trust), Saline acting superintendent Scot Graden, an officer in Ypsi and firefighter Russ Girbach here in Saline. I found out the young lady, Sable Martin was a student at the Alternative High School and that her mom worked at Heritage School. Her dad is well known in Saline. My prayers for strength go out to these parents. My daughter will get her drivers license in the next few weeks and my heart is breaking for this family as I can only imagine a snippet of the pain they must be experiencing. Join me here in sharing your thoughts, memories of Sable and wishes for her friends and family.

4 Comments:

Blogger Missy said...

So terrible, since my daughers wreck in July, I am a mess everytime she goes out. Thankfully she is fine, but 2 months in a wheelchair she was very lucky. I hate MI Ave.
I will keep her family in my prayers.

February 7, 2008 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Sue Gee said...

Here are the details if you would like to pay your respects to the family:
Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, and 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Robison-Bahnmiller Funeral Home in Saline, as well as from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., the time of the service Tuesday at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Saline. The Rev. Gordon Reigle will officiate.
Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery in Saline.

February 11, 2008 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Sable Rose was my one and only baby sister. Although technically she was my in-law, she called me her sister since the day I met her. She was a one of a kind original and I love her so much. My heart hurts so bad and the whole family feels like there is a whole that will never again be filled. We appreciate everyone's love and support and want all her friends to know we love them and apreciate all they've done for Sable. Rest in peace baby girl, I'll see you when I get there. I'm carrying your angel with me.

February 13, 2008 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Sable Rose was my one and only baby sister. Although technically she was my in-law, she called me her sister since the day I met her. She was a one of a kind original and I love her so much. My heart hurts so bad and the whole family feels like there is a whole that will never again be filled. We appreciate everyone's love and support and want all her friends to know we love them and apreciate all they've done for Sable. Rest in peace baby girl, I'll see you when I get there. I'm carrying your angel with me.

February 13, 2008 at 8:14 PM  

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