Junior Emma Casey was hospitalized in critical condition after a car crash on New Year’s Eve that resulted in the death of her boyfriend, who was driving the vehicle.
Casey was riding as a passenger when the accident occurred. Her boyfriend Xander Wohlstadter, 20, was declared dead at the scene of the crash.
“We are (Emma’s) biggest cheerleaders and I am sure inside she is so annoyed with us because we are always in her face kissing her and loving her and doing everything every second to try to make her comfortable,” said Casey’s mother Christina Gullet in a Jan. 13, journal entry on Casey’s Caringbridge page.
Those looking to donate funds to help Casey’s recovery can visit http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/emmacasey.
“(Emma) continues to amaze us daily,” Gullet said in a Jan. 19, journal entry. “We will have strength together to get her through the loss of a very close person in her life. When the time comes and we will continue to focus on the positive things that have manifested from such a horrific event in our lives.”
Casey has been in a wheelchair for about two weeks. She had begun to wake up on Jan. 4, four days after the accident.
The crash took place at the intersection of Chouteau Avenue and South Jefferson, when a 26-year-old man ran a red light and left the vehicle with Wohlstadter and Casey broadsided. The man who ran the red light was reported not to have been intoxicated.
The car with Wohlstadter and Casey was pushed into another vehicle stopped for the red light, injuring a passenger in that vehicle.
The man who allegedly caused the accident proceeded to get out of his vehicle and run from the scene, according to news accounts. His attempt to flee failed when he was caught by officers a few blocks away from the crash. He was arrested but has since been released.
The 26-year-old has not been identified publicly yet, due to charges not being filed against him.
“We understand and share the community’s concern regarding this case,” said the St. Louis circuit attorney office via email. “The investigation into the matter remains open and very active. Police and prosecutors are doing everything possible to hold the person responsible accountable for his actions.”
Meanwhile, Casey remains hospitalized, but has grown more functional over the past three weeks. According to another recent journal entry by Gullet, on Jan. 23, Casey spoke for the first time since the accident.
“Emma is awesome and works so hard to accomplish the goals that (therapists) have set for her,” Gullet said. “I couldn’t be more proud of her tenacity, she is one tough cookie.”