On the advice of the coroner, a relative passed on the opportunity to confirm the death. This might have prevented the tragic mixup.
Whitney Cerak and Laura VanRyn looked alike. Both were blond, about the same height, and build. Both were friends at Taylor University in Indiana. Both were
in a car accident while riding back from setting up for a banquet.
18-year-old Whitney from Gaylord was pronounced dead. 22-year-old Cerak from Caledonia near Grand Rapids was thought to be in a coma. Five weeks later, as the girl everyone thought was Cerak recovered, a terrible mistake was discovered. The girls had been misidentified. Laura had died. Whitney was recovering.
The faith of Laura VanRyn's sister is inspiring. She wrote,
What may come to us as a shock, does not shock the One who made us.Pray for these families as they sort through this whole tragedy. (HT: Susan for the link.)