New Berlin family members recovering, forgiving after crash killing three
The Associated Press & WTMJ News Team
NEW BERLIN - As an injury victim from a deadly crash was recovering at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa, his family is grieving the loss of his brother, sister and sister-in-law.
New Berlin Police say a medical condition may have caused a driver to lose control of his car and crash into another vehicle, killing three of Wagner's family members.
"You just can't wrap your mind around it," said Marilyn Erdman, who lost her daughter, son and daughter-in-law in the crash.
"It seems it just can't be a true story.
Thomas and Catherine Wagner, both 49 and from New Berlin, and Thomas' sister Patricia White, 54 from Milwaukee, were pronounced dead at the scene - just blocks from their home.
William Wagner is Thomas and Patricia's brother. He was getting medical treatment from his crash injuries at Froedtert Hospital.
New Berlin Officer Daniel Hanlon said Monday the victims were waiting at a stop sign when their car was struck by a 36-year-old New Berlin man who may have had a medical problem.
He was alone in his vehicle.
According to Erdman, police told her the man who hit her family had a diabetic seizure.
Investigators say drugs or alcohol are not suspected to have played a role in the crash that happened Sunday at about 10 a.m.
When the crash happened, the four family members were on their way to a birthday gathering at fireside theater in Fort Atkinson.
Dispatcher: "You said four people are injured?"
9-1-1 caller: "Yeah, badly."
TODAY'S TMJ4 spoke with Catherine and Tom back in a 2003 story about online dating.
"The second time I met Cathy, I told her she was going to marry me."
Their mother's faith is getting her through this time.
"As long as I hang on to God and hang on to his son Jesus, all is right in my world, even though there are tears," said Erdman.
"It was His plan that the three of them go together, and He is the master planner and I don't argue with Him."
TODAY'S TMJ4 spoke to the other driver's family, and they said he is not doing emotionally well.
We also spoke to Cathy Wagner's grieving brother-in-law. Both families have a message for the other driver.
"We're thinking of him as well. We understand that it's going to be difficult for him knowing what he's got to live with," said Vince Murphy, Cathy Wagner's brother-in-law.
"I just forgive him. He was part of the master plan and he needs to forgive himself," said Erdman.
Support was expected to come Tuesday for the daughter of one of the victims at New Berlin Eisenhower High School.
Many students there are wearing orange for her. They are also changing their Facebook photos to include something orange.