10 years after her funeral, girl thought dead speaks

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10 Years After Her Funeral, Girl Thought Dead Speaks Out

It's not your typical story.

A deadly car crash involving a van full of Taylor University students and a semi on I-69 killed four in April 2006.

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After the crash, there was a mix-up among two of the girls, Laura VanRyn and Whitney Cerak.

For five weeks, the VanRyn family thought they were treating their comatose daughter, Laura, in the hospital. Little did they know, it was actually another girl, Whitney Cerak.

Meanwhile, the Cerak family was mourning the loss of who they believed to be their daughter, even holding a funeral and burial for her.

It was a classic case of mistaken identity, and now ten years later, Whitney Cerak, is speaking out about it at her alma mater Taylor University, a Christian college in Indiana.

She spoke of the struggles of returning to normalcy and the guilt of being the only survivor from the crash.

Even though the VanRyn family lost their daughter, Whitney spoke of a lasting bond saying, "They loved me like I was their daughter because they believed that I was their daughter. And even after I wrote 'Whitney' and their world changed... they still treated me like I was their family."

The heart-wrenching mistake has prompted Indiana lawmakers to enact stricter guidelines in identifying victims of fatal crashes.

Today, Whitney Cerak is married with three kids, and she even held her wedding at the same church as her funeral.

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