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South Dakota girl injured in 5-fatality crash can walk again

July 10, 2018

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) — A 12-year-old South Dakota girl severely injured in a crash last week that killed five people is expected to make a full recovery.

Tirany Luschen is able to walk again less than a week after the crash that killed her mother Tawna Lichty-Reineke, 40, stepfather Chad Reineke, 43, and younger sister Janicka Luschen, 10, the Argus Leader reported .

The Highway Patrol says Michael Worlie, 29, fled from a Yankton police officer early Wednesday and his car’s headlights shut off before the vehicle crossed into the oncoming lanes of state Highway 50, hitting the car Lichty-Reineke was driving. Worlie and another Sioux Falls man riding in his vehicle died.

The crash’s sole survivor, Tirany Luschen was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries that required multiple surgeries. Family friend Bonnie Gusso told the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan that the girl’s doctor had never seen such a crash in which the patient wasn’t paralyzed. Gusso said it’s a “true miracle.”

“No one knows for sure how long it will be,” Gusso said about the healing process. “It’s a long road ahead of her, but she’ll make a full recovery.”

Gusso said services for the three family members killed are pending as Tirany recovers.

Gusso and family friend Jennifer Trenhaile have established a GoFundMe for Tirany and her family. Trenhaile said she’s not surprised by the support it’s received.

“Chad was a longtime employee of Kolberg-Pioneer. He worked there for something like 20 years. Tawna was in the counseling field and had touched the lives of many people,” she said.

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