A Michigan mother died shielding her two children in a fatal car wreck this week, her family said.
Hillarie Galazka, 29, was killed Monday after a speeding motorist rear-ended her car on an exit ramp. At around 11:30 p.m, Galazka’s Saturn Ion was struck from behind on an I-96 exit ramp by the driver of a Chevrolet Traverse, according to Michigan State Police. She died at the scene, relatives said, while her sons were hospitalized with minor injuries.
The Lincoln Park mom threw herself in front of her two boys seconds before her car was hit from behind, according to her family.
"Her body saved them," Galazka’s mother, Jodie Kelley, told WJBK. "The boys say they saw her open her eyes, and look at them, and then she closed her eyes, and never opened them again. They remember that."
The 25-year-old male motorist who plowed into Galzaka’s sedan fled the scene on foot, according to Michigan State Police. He later told police he went to a nearby gas station before getting a ride to a local hospital, where he was located by police.
The driver, who has not been identified, has had his license suspended five times and has two previous convictions for driving while on a suspended license, police said. He also had two local warrants out for his arrest, authorities stated.
“Troopers are seeking a search warrant for blood,” Michigan State Police said in a statement. “Next of kin have been notified and the children are with family members. The investigation is continuing and the report will be forwarded to the prosecutor for review.”
Police said Galzaka’s Saturn sustained “significant” damage in the collision. No further details on the crash or any charging information were immediately available.
Galzaka’s loved ones are now reeling from the news of the mother of three’s sudden death. She also had an 8-year-old child, who wasn’t in the vehicle at the time of the fatal collision.
"She was my best friend, she's gone now,” Kelley said. “I am devastated. I cannot believe that this man wasn't in prison for his entire life for all of his warrants."
The grieving mother said Galzaka was her first-born daughter.
"It's going to be hard," she added. "She was so beautiful."
Galzaka’s brother also described her as a “good-hearted,” “strong,” and “beautiful” person.
"I'm just glad the babies survived a tragedy for the family," Jacob Galazka told WJBK. "Everyone loves those kids. Everyone loves Hillarie. She didn't deserve this death."
The family is now making funeral arrangements, and a GoFundMe page has since been created to cover costs and raise money for the three kids.
A spokesperson for the Michigan State Police didn’t respond to requests for comment on Friday.
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