ANGOLA, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – It’s the sixth anniversary of a fatal car accident that took the lives of six teens in Steuben County. A victim’s brother reflects on the incident.
When the anniversary of a loss or something difficult in your life, rolls around, you remember it. That's what Michael Green was going through Wednesday night. For the past six years, on this day Green watches a DVD to commemorate the loss of his brother, Donovan Green, and five other friends who died in a car accident in Steuben County.
The crash happened in Fremont when an SUV slammed into a tree and burst into flames. The victims were all from Angola: Jeremy Fulton, 20, Donovan Green, 20, Coltlyn Karn, 16, Megan Kotowski, 14, Sarah Teeple, 17, and her unborn child, and Roger Wilcox, 20.
“No one really knows what happened. There was never an actual report of what they were doing, why they were out,” said Green.
It was an accident that shook the town, until toxicology results came out claiming the driver, Wilcox, had a blood-alcohol level of .043 percent and marijuana in his system. Green says after that, people considered the victims to be "bad kids" and they didn't receive the recognition they deserved.
“They were just out having fun, they were young kids. They felt like joy riding that night. They’re not bad people,” said Green.
In March 2011, four other teens from Angola died in a car accident in Alabama. A memorial was erected and a scholarship created in their memories.
“The flags were at half-staff, there was all this money and everything. The Indianapolis Colts gave them stuff. It was cool, it was awesome that they did that for the families,” he said.
Green says after that, arguments between the victims’ families broke out on Facebook. He says some people felt one group of kids was more deserving of a memorial than the other because of perceived reputations.
“In my opinion 10 kids dying should be the biggest thing—not the fact that six ‘bad kids’ and four ‘good kids’ died. I mean 10 kids died. That should be bad in anyone’s book. In my opinion, that argument should’ve never happened.”
Green says he just wants his brother and friends to be remembered for who they were, not what they did.
“I just want my brother, Roger, Jeremy, Sarah, Coltlyn, Megan all to have what they deserve. Which is what any kid deserves that shouldn't die that young, and that's to be remembered by anyone,” said Green.
Green says he would like for there to be a memorial, plaque, scholarship, or something done in remembrance of the six victims. He even suggests collaborating with the families of the four victims who died recently to make a memorial including all 10 victims. However, Green says he has no idea where to start or how to go about doing something like that. He says all he knows is all the kids died too soon.
“Someone should’ve done something to make sure their names lived on. They’re so young and they didn’t live a life to actually deserve to die,” said Green.
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