Friday, December 19, 2008

Route 19 Crash Victim: "I Lost A Very Good Friend"

Dec 19, 2008 8:48 am US/Eastern

Route 19 Crash Victim: "I Lost A Very Good Friend"

She watched as her best friend died beside her and she barely managed to get herself and her daughter out of the crash wreckage alive.

Now, accident victim, Brandy Curtis, is speaking out about the runaway trailer that caused a deadly crash.

On Monday, Michelle Kott, 36, was killed in North Strabane Township when that trailer broke loose and sheared off the top of her car causing it to burst into flames.

Kott's friend, Curtis, and her daughter, had just moments to escape.

Curtis is now battered and bruised, with stitches and skull fractures, a separated ankle and torn ligaments and is mourning the loss of a dear friend.

She says her daughter, Summer, has a broken eye socket, a blood clot in the ear and has lost some hearing. But the worst part was watching Kott, someone she says she considered to be an older sister, die right in front of her.

"She was pretty much gone, I don't want to talk about that," she told KDKA.

Officials say the trailer came loose from a pick-up truck that was driven by 18-year-old Ryan Bier, of Canonsburg.

Curtis says something has to be done to make sure that trailers are safe on our roads.

"Something needs done about it. It's ridiculous," says Curtis. "I lost a very good friend. My daughter is suffering, asks me everyday if her face is going to get better."

A state police accident reconstruction expert has thoroughly examined the trailer and the pick-up truck. But so far, they haven't released any conclusions on what caused the accident.

As for Bier who was driving the truck, Curtis says she hopes to speak to him soon, and she says she has sympathy for him.

"I have an 18-year-old brother, if he were to be driving, I can only imagine what it would do to him," said Curtis.

She and her daughter now face months of surgery, physical therapy and counseling.

Meantime, police say once their investigation is over, it will be up to the district attorney to decide if any charges will be filed.

Stay with KDKA for the latest details.

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