Family in shock after 1999 van crash survivor killed in Madison hit-and-run
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A Madison family is mourning the loss of a loved one who was killed in a hit-and-run in May.
According to Madison Police Department, 40-year-old Nicole McDougal was killed when a driver allegedly was intoxicated and ran a red light, hit her and drove off on Saturday, May 20.
McDougal was one of the few survivors in a Janesville van crash that killed seven other traveling magazine salespeople 24 years ago.
“I was like nine or ten when it happened,” McDougal’s sister Jaclyn said. “We didn’t know if she was going to live or not and then on May 20th, being notified that she’s gone, it’s something that we can’t get back.”
McDougal experienced a traumatic brain injury as a result of the 1999 crash. She continued visiting the memorial to honor the seven others who did not survive, before she died.
“It took a long time for her to get to where she was today. Living independently,” Jaclyn said. “We were blessed with another 24 years.”
Jaclyn said Nicole loved being outside and walking the trail in her neighborhood with her dog Rocco.
Family and friends put up a memorial for Nicole with her picture and a cross inscribed by her mother saying she’ll always miss Nicole.
“It’s rough,” Jaclyn said. “Nobody expects to lose their big sister, their daughter, their aunt and a friend.”
Jaclyn said her sister was unique and funny, who always helped others. Nicole even provided temporary shelter in her home for individuals experiencing homelessness. Neighbors say her death is a great loss for the community.
A GoFundMe was started to raise money for funeral expenses.
The suspect in McDougal’s killing was in Dane County court on Thursday and faces a charge of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and hit and run resulting in death.
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