LOCAL NEWS

Utah Mom Warns Of Distracted Driving After Family Rear-Ended, Almost Killed

Feb 15, 2019, 1:00 PM | Updated: 2:42 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Traveling southbound on I-15 Makensey Frecker’s car started to overheat. Her plan was to slow down, move over and safely get off the interstate to head to a gas station. That didn’t happen.

With her three children on board, she made the decision to get into the far right lane. She slowed her speed down to 50 mph and turned on her hazard lights.

What happened next landed all four of them in the hospital.

“I remember seeing us flying across the freeway and I started yelling ‘I love you,’” Frecker told KSL.

A semi rear-ended their car on January 11, causing it to crash into the concrete barrier in the middle of I-15 near the Box Elder and Weber County line.

Damage to the car Frecker was driving at the time of the January 11th crash

Damage to the car Frecker was driving at the time of the January 11th crash

“We were all knocked out except for my son,” she said. “All I remember was I couldn’t feel, I couldn’t talk. It felt like someone was squeezing my body.”

When Frecker came to, she reached for her children in the back seat. Her daughter, 8-year-old Presley, did not respond as bystanders jumped in to help.

“I remember them saying ‘we need to get your baby out of the car’ and I couldn’t hear her,” she said. “I think my adrenaline hit and so I immediately jumped up and looked back. I saw her laying back and her skull was I caved in and her face was completely covered in blood.”

Paramedics arrived and quickly rushed Frecker and her children to the hospital.

Luckily, she and her 13-year-old son were not seriously injured. As for her other daughter, Maddison, the impact left its mark.

“My 10-year-old hit the back of her head and had a skull fracture on the back of her head which caused bleeding,” Frecker said.

Two days after brain surgery, Maddison was sent home to recover while her younger sister Presley lay in a hospital bed fighting for her life.

“As a mom you want to help, but you can’t,” she said. “There is literally nothing you can do to help.”

Frecker said there have been major signs of improvement and doctors are hopeful Presley will recover but her daughter’s future is still unknown.

Presley Frecker recovers in the hospital from injuries from the January 11th crash.

Presley Frecker recovers in the hospital from injuries from the January 11th crash.

“She remembers everything up to the accident but she has short term memory loss. She asks everyday why she is in the hospital. We don’t know how she’s going to be within the next year, two years or three,” she said.

Frecker said the accident forced her to leave her job to stay by her daughter’s side while family members look after her other children who will continue to need therapy.

She said the medical bills are mounting and she’s not sure how the family will cover them all. She hopes others will learn from the actions of the semi driver.

Investigators are looking into distracted driving as a contributing factor.

“If you’re in a car, stay off your phone. If you’re in a car, don’t get distracted. Do what you can to keep everyone around you safe,” she said.

She and her family are now taking legal action against the driver, hoping that will bring them closure.

“Our life was completely flipped upside down because of a car accident,” she said. “It was an accident, but it still destroyed my family.”

Friends have set up a GoFundMe account* to help with medical costs.

They have also set up an account at Bank of Utah under Jacqueline Nye for Presley Glende and Maddison Frecker.

The community of Tremonton is holding a Zumbathon Fundraiser at Results Gym and Fitness on Main Street, Friday, Feb. 22 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Utah Mom Warns Of Distracted Driving After Family Rear-Ended, Almost Killed