Woman Mistaken as Dead Six Years Ago is Now Married
Cerak says she now lives a normal life. She is now a mother and a wife. A lot has changed since that dramatic day in 2006.
She was among a group of Taylor University students in a van that collided with a truck in Indiana. Five people were killed in the collision. Cerak, heavily bandaged and unresponsive, was misidentified as classmate Laura Van Ryn, who had a similar appearance and died in the crash.
For five weeks, Van Ryn’s parents sat by the hospital bed of the young lady they assumed was their daughter. Meanwhile, Cerak’s family was holding a funeral for Whitney. The funeral was attended by more than 1,000 people.
When the truth came out, it was a terrible shock for the Van Ryns.
“Well, it was hard. but we knew where our daughter was…and we knew that they needed to know where their daughter was,” Laura’s mother, Susie Van Ryn, told Today.
The Ceraks and the Van Ryns remain close friends today. The next hurdle for Whitney is dealing with the upcoming departure of Matt, her husband, who is being deployed to Afghanistan by the Army.