New Mom's Fiancé & Mother Killed in Crash on the Way to Baby's Delivery

Crystal Matrau-Belt just gave birth to a new son. But what should be a time of joy turned utterly devastating when her fiancé and mother were killed in a car wreck racing to the hospital for her delivery.


Her fiancé, Emile Skokan III, and mother, Peggy Nichols, were racing to the Bronson Medican Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan, when Emile, who was driving, lost control of the car. They were both killed. Officals say they suspect they were speeding.

Crystal's family kept the awful news from her until after her emergency C-section. Her stepmother was able to stand in and be there for her during her baby's delivery.

She named the baby boy Jeremiah, the only name she and her fiancé could agree on.

More from The Stir: Sandy Hook Mom Puts Up First Christmas Tree Since Losing Her Son (VIDEO)

Now Crystal will head home with a brand-new baby and without the two people closest to her -- her partner and her mother. It's unimaginable the emotions she's going through having to face life as a single mother to Jermiah. The funerals for both Emile and Peggy will be held later this week.

As Crystal muddles through what's sure to be a flood of emotions, she wants to use this tragedy as a reminder to people not to take life for granted.

"You’ve got to cherish every moment. You don’t know when things are going to happen, especially if you’re on the way to the birth of your child and grandchild," Crystal told ABC News. "You’ve got to be able to slow down and look at every part of life and cherish it."

Good advice. In the meantime, we hope Crystal and little Jeremiah are able to find a little peace over the holidays, which are sure to be tough. Surely Crystal was planning the happiest holidays with her new baby and fiancé. She says little Jeremiah already reminds her of Emile. Maybe that will offer her some solace in her grief, that through Jeremiah a part of Emile will always be with her.

And through a flood of pregnancy hormones and new mom jitters, it's so heartbreaking that Crystal won't have her own mother to help guide her through -- to share stories of her own babyhood and offer hard-won advice. The loss must be nearly unbearable. 

Maybe the best news of all for Crystal is the sheer all-consuming exhaustion of new motherhood. From late-night feedings to doctor appointments -- Jeremiah will hopefully give Crystal a reason to keep busy and stay strong. 

Let's all send Crystal our best thoughts.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Crystal and Jeremiah.

Many have asked. Here's a few ways to help.

Posted by Kalamazoo Gazette on Tuesday, December 15, 2015


 Image via Kalamazoo Gazette/Facebook

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