May 11, 2016

One man’s mission

BY ALYSSA MEIER
Editor

A car seat is still strapped into the backseat. A stuffed animal rabbit rests next to it, a couple feet from the bag of diapers on the floor of the car. Everything is exactly where it was left the night they died.

This is how Lynn Mickelson wants people to see the vehicle. He wants people to look at the crumpled Subaru that he lost his daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter in and understand the risks of drinking and driving.

Mickelson travels around North Dakota with the wreck, which is mounted inside a trailer, to speak to schools and communities in hopes of raising awareness and saving lives.

"I lost them on July 6, 2012 after they were hit head-on by a drunk driver going the wrong way on I-94 west of Jamestown," Mickelson said.

His daughter, Allison Deutscher, son-in-law, Aaron, and granddaughter, Brielle, were in the car and all died, along with the other driver. But a board standing in front of the smashed car lists a total of five deaths from the accident.

"Allison was pregnant with their second child, so we count baby Deutscher among those we lost," Mickelson said. "I’ll never get to meet my grandbaby."


The Weather Network