Mosinee crash victim’s family starts scholarship foundation

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 7:06 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - A grieving Mosinee family is turning their pain into a passion after losing their daughter to a car accident earlier this month.

Eighteen-year-old Kaytlyn Thomas died of a car crash July 12, after a driver traveling the wrong way on I-39 hit her vehicle.

Since her passing, Kaytlyn’s dad Ron Thomas has created a GoFundMe to raise money for the Kaytlyn M. Thomas Memorial Scholarship.

Kaytlyn graduated from Mosinee High School this May. She had plans to study Fashion Design and Marketing at UW-Stout. Ron says the scholarship foundation will support students at Kaytlyn’s desired college, UW-Stout, with similar aspirations.

“We decided that the foundation would be the best way to honor her memory,” Ron explained. “She was so excited about going to Stout and doing that program that it made sense that we set up something for other people who wanted to do it. And that in a way, she’d be with them.”

Kayltyn leaves behind five siblings, her parents and a 1-year-old niece.

“It’s just hard knowing that this is where Kayltyn ends, at 18 years of age, and that the rest of our kids keep going,” Kaytlyn’s mom Janelle expressed.

The family is also fighting for legislative change.

‘Kaytlyn’s Law’ would require additional accident prevention to be built into cars.

“As terrible as this is that I’m confident that there’s technology that could have prevented this,” Ron explained. “The other person’s phone probably knew that something that something wasn’t right because of the data it was collecting, and obviously knew you were on the wrong side of the freeway.”

Ron said they have sent a letter to the White House and they are in the process of drafting letters to Wisconsin state representatives.

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