MODESTO (CBS 13) – A Modesto woman is still grieving 30 years after a deadly car accident near Oakdale. Her mother was killed in the collision but she survived at only six-weeks-old. Now, she’s looking for the people who saved her life and has something important to say to them.
“I just would like to hug them, and say ‘thank you’ and show them my life,” said 30-year-old Molly Stanger. “I think it’s amazing that somebody would just stop everything and try to be there for somebody else in such a bad situation.”
The day was November 10, 1985. Twenty-five-year-old Ramona Ice was driving on a rain-soaked Albers Road. With her in the car, three of her four children: 7-year-old Brandy, 18-month-old Dylan, and 6-week-old Molly.
From what she’s been told, Stanger believes her mother lost control of the car and collided with a van.
“I believe my brother died instantly but my mother died later in the hospital,” she recalled. “That was basically the last time we were all together.”
Over the years, she’s heard mixed accounts about the accident. She did hear that she herself was trapped underneath the seat.
“My grandmother says it was a Good Samaritan and his son that found me and the gentleman had his son hold me while he tried to help my mom,” she said.
And 30 years later, she wants to find them. However, she doesn’t want to hear details about the horrific accident. Instead, she wants the people to know how grateful she is for their help.
“It could have gone a whole different way,” Stanger said. “I would just think that they would remember that forever.”
From what she knows about her mother Ramona, the best thing she knew how to do was love her children. That is an aspiration she’s more than happy to copy.
“Her greatest achievement in life was being a mom,” Stanger said. “So when I became a mom, everything else stopped. And I live through my kids. I do everything I can to make them happy.”
She has several little memories of her mother scattered throughout her home. And while a tattered wooden frame, tarnished jewelry, and a rusty bell may seem insignificant to some, Stanger said it’s those little things that keep her mother alive every day.
Stanger grew up apart from another brother and the sister who also survived the accident. She found them years ago and now believes that finding the people saved her is the last thing she needs to do to finally move on.