Grandparents say car seats saved their three granddaughters

By: Mary Rinzel with Photographer Duane Wolter Email
By: Mary Rinzel with Photographer Duane Wolter Email

Their grandparents say three car seats saved three little girls. Now, they want to make sure all parents hear their story.

Darlene and Richard Selzler couldn't be more thankful to be busy keeping their granddaughters busy in their farmhouse between Stanley and Boyd.

The girls are staying with them while their mom is recovering after a crash in Chippewa County Saturday. It sent all four of them and the other driver to the hospital. Investigators say that driver ran a stop sign and hit their SUV broadside.

"This one's Alayna's and this one's Lydia’s and this one’s mine,” five-year-old Emma Selzler shows us the whole armchair dedicated to the stuffed animals she and her sisters got in the ambulance.

Emma says she was glad she was hurt more than her little sisters because she's the biggest.

I hurt "my neck and my finger and then I just really wanted to get out," Emma says.

But, her grandparents are thankful for what kept her in.

"Those car seats paid for themselves 100 fold plus that day," Darlene tells us.

Darlene and Richard are taking care of Emma and two-year-old Alayna while their daughter-in-law Michelle recovers after six hours of surgery to repair her jaw and surgery to remove her spleen. Two-week-old Lydia is staying with Michelle's parents just up the road.

“I know God gives and God takes away; but, we didn't want to give her away," Darlene says, her voice cracking.

Michelle and the girls were driving up County Highway G to visit her mom when the crash happened at the intersection with 100th Ave. Michelle told Emma to watch her sisters and she crawled out the window to get help.

"When we were driving to the hospital, what doesn't go through your mind? What we found when we got there could've been a lot worse," Richard says.

"After I looked at everything, then we both started crying," Emma says of Alayna and herself who were both covered in glass.

But, two days later, they’re both content to play with grandpa and read with grandma. And Darlene and Richard couldn't be happier to have them happy and healthy and home.

"Just the thought of what could've been just tears your heart out,” Richard says.

The Chippewa County sheriff says 19-year-old Hector Cruz from Boyd left the crash scene after hitting the Selzler's SUV. Sheriff Jim Kowalczyk says Cruz is still in the hospital. He says he doesn't have a drivers license.

Michelle was due to have two-week-old Lydia on Saturday—the day of the crash. The family considers that another miracle; they think she was safer in the car seat than if her badly-injured mom was still pregnant.


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