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Family of crash victims healing at hospital; fundraisers set up to help with medical expenses
The Record-Eagle - 6/13/2021
Jun. 13—TRAVERSE CITY — There's a family currently healing together at Traverse City's hospital after a life-changing traffic crash threw them all into chaos.
A Grawn man and his three children were traveling back to Grand Traverse County from downstate on June 4 when their SUV was involved in a multi-vehicle crash caused by an accused drunken driver. The laundry list of injuries collectively suffered by the family is staggering, and at least two fundraisers have launched online to help offset expected medical bills.
Kevin Korth, 51, drove to Midland that day with his 7-year-old daughter, Piper, to meet his ex-wife, osteopath Dr. Sara Wine, and pick up their two children, Mackenzie, 15, and Sullivan, 14. The Korths were heading back to Grand Traverse County for their first day of summer break, Wine said.
About an hour into their journey north, their Ford Explorer was hit by a pickup truck that had been struck by a car driven by a Traverse City woman suspected of being intoxicated. The wreck at 6:40 p.m. that Friday on M-115 in Wexford County left everyone in the SUV injured, Wine said.
"They all were pretty bad," she said.
Wine said Mackenzie endured major blood loss and bilateral femur fractures on both legs requiring surgery to repair and "more hardware than I've seen in all my medical career." Her recovery will take at least a year of intensive rehabilitation before she may comfortably walk again, her mother said.
"She almost died at the scene and they had to life flight her to Munson (Medical Center)," Wine said.
Sullivan suffered a broken neck, broken thoracic bones and rib fractures. He also has autism which has complicated his treatment, his mother said.
"He's verbal enough to tell us he's in pain and really scared," Wine said.
Her ex-husband endured all four limbs being broken, she said, as well as his spine. However, she did not know how her children's half-sister Piper was faring, she said.
They all remain hospitalized at Munson in Traverse City, where officials reported Kevin Korth is now in stable condition. The hospital does not release information about minor patients, confirmed Brian Lawson, communications manager.
Wine said she completed her medical residency at Munson and learned that when her children and ex-husband arrived at the emergency room, off-duty doctors and nurses rushed in to help with the major emergency. Kevin Korth is a registered nurse at the hospital, too — meaning the whole family is well-known by medical workers there.
"It's bittersweet to be back in Traverse City for this, but then again, it's also a real comfort," Wine said, adding she has local friends who are helping her and the family throughout the ordeal.
She's even been able to visit with her ex husband and give him updates about their children's conditions, even when he was heavily medicated and unable to respond under intensive care. He later told her he remembered hearing her talk about how the kids are doing even if he couldn't answer back, Wine said.
Two fundraisers on gofundme.com have been established to assist both branches of the blended family with expected medical bills. Nearly $16,000 has so far collectively been raised among the two benefits.
Holly Hack of Traverse City has shared the GoFundMe information on social media to help the family financially survive this tragedy, she said.
"I've known the family for about 15 years," she said, adding they are all good, kind and caring people.
The fundraiser for Wine's children can be found at https://bit.ly/3vfuTDo online, while the one for Korth, Piper and his shared children with Wine, can be found at https://bit.ly/35d2iUA online.
Meanwhile, Shannon Marie Gouin, 25, of Traverse City, following the crash was arraigned in 84th District Court on four counts of drunken driving causing injury, four counts reckless driving causing serious impairment, one count of driving with a high blood-alcohol content, and one count of driving while intoxicated.
Gouin's bond was set at $10,000 under the conditions of house arrest, and her next court appearance was scheduled for June 22.
Michigan State Police reported Gouin was uninjured in the crash.
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