‘I lost my mom. She was my best friend’: Metro Detroit family shares heartbreak after fatal crash

57-year-old mother killed

A Metro Detroit family is trying to pick up the pieces after a fatal accident in Fraser earlier this month. The cause of the terrible scene is apparently a distracted driver.

MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. – A Metro Detroit family is trying to pick up the pieces after a fatal crash earlier this month.

Police said the crash was caused by a distracted driver. The family of the victim is pleading for help and preparing to file a lawsuit.

Katie Rice, 15, has her learner’s permit. Her mother, Luann Pinks, was in the passenger seat supervising as they drove down Hayes Road at 15 Mile Road. A car went through a red light at 15 Mile Road and crashed into their car, killing 57-year-old Luann Pinks.

Video of the incident shows massive damage to the cars. Sterling Heights responded, but nobody was arrested. Katie Rice said she’s trying to stay positive and strong, but is having trouble sleeping.

“I turned quickly and I saw a car and blacked out,” Katie Rice said. “I woke up and I heard sirens and I turned and saw my mom laying like this and there was blood gushing everywhere.”

Luann Pinks and her husband, Randall Rice, have a 36-year-old son with special needs. Their son, Josh, was in the backseat when the car was struck.

He has been hospitalized and likely will be moved to assisted living, possibly for the rest of his life. It’s a crushing financial blow to the family.

“We’ve been doing this for 36 years. We did everything together. How am I supposed to do this anymore? I’m -- Katie’s giving me the strength,” Randall Rice said.

Katie Rice attends school online and was very close with her mother.

“I lost my mom. She was my best friend,” Katie Rice said.

The family said they do not have money for a funeral. A GoFundMe has been created to help raise money for the family.

In the meantime, there is expected to be a lawsuit against the other driver involved in the crash.

Click here to visit the GoFundMe set up for Luann’s family.

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About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.