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Heartbreak as new mother loses mom, fiancé in car accident following birth

Fiancé and mother-in-law were killed when car hit a tree

Crystal Matrau-Belt holds her new son, Jeremiah, while being comforted by her uncle Michael Myers
Crystal Matrau-Belt holds her new son, Jeremiah, while being comforted by her uncle Michael Myers (MLIVE.com)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – A new mother who should have been basking in the joy of a newborn son, instead experienced the heartbreak of losing her own mother and fiancé who were killed on the way to the hospital.

MLIVE.com says that Crystal Matrau-Belt of Kalamazoo, Mich. had just given birth to her son Jeremiah only three hours before learning that her fiancé, Emil Skokan III, and her mother, Peggy Nichols, had died in a car accident.

Matrau-Belt had been rushed to the hospital to induce labor at 39 weeks after she was diagnosed with high blood pressure during a routine check up with her doctor.

After a brief scare where Matrau-Bell blacked out during labor, she called Skokan to tell him to come to the hospital.  Since Nichols was already on her way to the house the couple shared, it was decided that both would drive together.

Skokan, who was driving, lost control of the car and hit a tree, killing him and Nichols.

Matrau-Belt noticed something was wrong when neither Skokan and Nichols had yet to arrive to see the baby.

"I asked my stepdad, 'Do you know where Emil is?'" Matrau-Belt told MLIVE.com. "My dad said, 'Honey, that's what we need to talk to you about.' I just all of a sudden had a sinking feeling something was wrong. I just didn't know that it was my fiancé and my mom."

Matrau-Belt said that her and Skokan had planned to get married, but had waited until she was ready. She added that the couple had disagreed on the name of their son until deciding on Jeremiah just hours before his unplanned birth.

"Losing two of the most important people in my life at the same time as bringing a child into the world, it's like happy and the most heartbreaking thing," Matrau-Belt said. "I waited so long to be able to have a child, and to have a child but then have two things ripped out of my life, it's just really hard to deal with and even process."


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