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Family, Friends Mourn Loss Of 4 Teens

Driver Accused Of Causing Crash Arraigned From Inside Hospital

POSTED: Monday, March 16, 2009
UPDATED: 5:00 pm EDT March 17, 2009
The family and friends of four teens who were killed in an alleged drunken driving crash Monday night are mourning them and standing up against drunk driving.

Hundreds of Lake Shore High School students and Mothers Against Drunk Driving held a Students Against Drunk Driving rally at Macomb Mall Tuesday afternoon to honor the lives of three of their classmates and a 19-year-old.

The four teenagers, Erica Haudek, 15, Jordan Michalak, 16, Stephanie Curris, 16, students at Lake Shore High School, and Devon Spurlock, 19, were waiting at a red light at the intersection when a drunken driver lost control of her vehicle and hit them, police said.

An 11th-grade student was fighting a mix of sorrow and anger when she told Local 4 it was not fair what happened to the teens.

"I am very upset that they did not get to say goodbye – I wanted to say goodbye," said Ashly Lowry at the rally as she held back tears. "Because a lady got drunk and was irresponsible and hit them. … It was not their fault."

Frances Patricia Dingle was charged with four counts of second-degree murder in the teens' death.

The Macomb County Prosecutors said Dingle's blood-alcohol level was .20, two-and-a half times the legal limit, when her full-size Ford van barreled into a car full of teens on Gratiot Avenue near Masonic Boulevard.

She remains in custody at a Macomb County jail on a $500,000 bond.

Take A Deeper Look At The Troubled Past Of The Woman Accused Of Killing The Teens

Witnesses said Dingle was driving between 60 and 80 mph south of Gratiot Avenue when her vehicle went airborne, flipping over three times and taking out a light pole before hitting the teenagers' car.

One witness said the teenage driver didn't have time to react.

"I noticed the van weaving in and out of traffic, and the next thing I know she slams into the car waiting at the red light," said Jeff Robinson, a witness to the crash.

In a panic, Robinson ran to the car to help, but there was little he could do.

Three of the teens died at the scene. Spurlock, who was the driver of the red Chevy Cobalt, was taken to a Mount. Clemens General Hospital in critical condition. He died Tuesday at 5 a.m.

Dingle was taken St. John Macomb Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

"Always the drunk comes out fine with no scratches and the kids die," Lake Shore High student Breanne Mikus.

Dozens of grieving students left school Tuesday upon the news of the teens' death.

"Everyone is crying because everyone knew them," said the teen's friend Mark Lavis. "They were such good people."

Grief counselors were at Lake Shore High School in St. Clair Shores to help the students cope with the loss of their classmates.

"It's really hard to get them off my mind. I don't know how long I am going to be like this for," said the victims' friend Ryan Camargo.

Spurlock was student at an alternative school. His MySpace page shows him rubbing noses with his girlfriend, Haudek.

A mother at the school held back tears as she coped with the realization of how precious life is.

"Anytime you put you teenager behind the wheel, you have to make sure you know that could be the last time you see them," said parent JoAnn Mennino.

"These young people were not doing anything wrong, They were just being kids. They were just doing all the right things and now they are gone tragically," said Richard Rondeau, executive director of MADD of Southeast Michigan at the rally.

On a day where many people are celebrating St. Patrick's Day and choosing to drink and drive, the protestors are rallying to save lives and honor the lives lost.

"Our research shows one-third of the people driving on the road right now are drunk. They are impaired," said Richard.

Richard said with all the options that are available to people nowadays, there is no reason they should be getting behind the wheel.

He said get rid of the ego, and know that you cannot drive when you have been drinking.

"Don't think you are going to be the only one to get through this life without a mishap," said Richard as he became emotional.

At 5 p.m. the rally is being moved back to the teens' school.

A fundraiser for the victims will be held at Texas Roadhouse in Roseville Wednesday from 4 to 10 p.m.

All the proceeds from the fundraiser will be donated to the families of the young victims.

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