Update: Student Teacher Survives Fatal Crash

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

Students are sending "get well" messages on little origami hearts to their teacher Linling Cai. Cai survived a crash Saturday that killed two of her friends.

"We let the kids know Linling was in an accident this weekend," says Post Oak Elementary Principal Camela Diaz.

Diaz says Cai is an MSU visiting scholar from China who teaches Chinese language and culture to children at Post Oak. Police say Cai and four other Chinese visiting students from U of M were in a Subaru when it veered off I-75 North and crashed.

"Linling said the car started shaking very violently," Diaz says. "They lost power steering control. It was something they knew was starting to happen, but couldn't get it stopped or under control."

Earlier reports that said distracted driving may have played a part are totally false, Diaz says.

Police say the driver and front passenger were pronounced dead at the scene. Cai was in the back seat and reportedly has broken neck bones and pins in her arm for a broken radius.

Diaz says those who died were Cai's long-time schoolmates from back in China.

"The physical healing will be short," Diaz says. "The emotional healing will be forever. I think that's for anyone who's ever lost someone in a car accident."

MSU's Confucius Institute, where Cai is a student, says her family has been notified in China, and that members of the school have been with her at all times in a Saginaw-area hospital. She's expected to make a full recovery. It's unclear when she'll return to Lansing.

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