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Details in death of woman in Erie Township not clear

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    A tow truck operator prepares to remove a wrecked pickup along Telegraph Road at Temperance Road in Erie Township. The pickup flew over two sets of railroad tracks before coming to rest on its side.

    THE BLADE/LISA DUTTON
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    Patty Sprague

Details-in-death-of-woman-in-Erie-Township-not-clear

A tow truck operator prepares to remove a wrecked pickup along Telegraph Road at Temperance Road in Erie Township. The pickup flew over two sets of railroad tracks before coming to rest on its side.

THE BLADE/LISA DUTTON
Enlarge | Buy This Image

ERIE, Mich. -- A mourning family stood beside a set of railroad tracks in Erie Township Thursday wondering how and why a woman they loved so much died there less than one day earlier.

Patty Sprague, 39, of Temperance was killed in a one-vehicle crash Wednesday night. Her body was discovered outside a truck at 7:40 a.m. Thursday when a passing train operator spotted the wreckage and alerted authorities, Ms. Sprague's family said.

Ms. Sprague was the passenger in a red 1999 Chevrolet pickup, driven by her fiance's great-nephew, Adam Speiker, 22, of Perrysburg. Mr. Speiker was driving east on Temperance Road when he allegedly failed to stop at a stop sign on Telegraph Road just before 11 p.m. Wednesday.

The truck continued east through brush, running over a small tree, and hitting a mound of dirt before going airborne, crossing over two sets of railroad tracks before coming to a rest on its side, Monroe County Sheriff's deputies said.

Authorities said Mr. Speiker told them he was hit by an unknown driver while walking on Telegraph Road and was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.

Patty-Sprague

Patty Sprague

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Mr. Speiker was released from the hospital early Thursday and has no memory of the crash, according to Angel Sprague, Patty Sprague's ex-sister-in-law.

Angel Sprague was told by authorities that Mr. Speiker was found unconscious on Telegraph Road by two women who drove him to the hospital.

Authorities said alcohol and a high rate of speed are believed to be factors, but Angel Sprague said Mr. Speiker did not drink.

Patty Sprague has two children -- Jessica, 19, and Leroy, 17 -- to whom she devoted her life, Angel Sprague said. "She had a heart of gold," Angel Sprague said. "She was a good mom, she was a hard worker, and she loved her kids more than anything."

The family said they will miss Ms. Sprague's laugh and smile -- and her light-up-the-room personality.

"It's sad. She was 39. She had a whole lot left," Angel Sprague said. "My first thoughts on the whole thing were what Patty is going to miss out on: grandchildren, her daughter getting married, her son graduating. And then my thoughts go to the kids."

The mother of two had been engaged for seven years to Derek Speiker, Adam Speiker's great-uncle.

"It's nobody's fault," Angel Sprague said.

It's unknown whether Mr. Speiker or Ms. Sprague were wearing seat belts. Deputies said no charges had been filed Thursday night.

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