Sisters, father badly injured in white-out crash; Huge outpouring of support for Peyton, Skarlett, Ryan

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TRAGIC CRASH–Sisters, l-r, Skarlett Swartz and Peyton Thomas of Marquette and Peyton’s dad, Ryan, were seriously injured in a U.S. 41 crash last Wednesday in white-out snow conditions. The girls are in Mott Children’s Hospital where both have spinal injuries and Peyton is paralyzed. Ryan faces multiple surgeries and four months in a wheel chair. Skarlett is the daughter of former Baraga resident Dave Swartz who is with them at Mott.

by Barry Drue
Lives were forever changed within seconds in a snowy, white-out, three-vehicle crash on U.S. 41 near Canyon Falls south of L’Anse on Wednesday night, March 8, 2017. Skarlett Swartz, 5, and sister Peyton Thomas, 7, from Marquette, were severely injured and were airlifted to C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan. The vehicle they were in was driven by Peyton’s father, Ryan Thomas, who was also severely injured. Skarlett is the daughter of 2003 Baraga High School graduate Dave Swartz, now living in Marquette. Swartz and the girls’ mother, Ellexsis (Lexie) Thomas, are in Ann Arbor with the girls. They are staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Baraga County Sheriff ’s Department reported the crash took place about 8:30 p.m. last  Wednesday during “complete white-out conditions”. Ryan Thomas, 32, of Marquette was northbound when his vehicle collided with a southbound vehicle driven by James Tricka, 55, of Bessemer. The Tricka vehicle was then struck by a northbound semi driven by Brad Trudell, 39, of Calumet. To read more, subscribe to the L’Anse Sentinel online, or buy a print copy at our local retailers.