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Family of 21-year-old killed in wrong way crash speaks out one year later

Willow Yon was killed in a wrong way crash on US-131 near 28th Street in March of 2022.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Last March, 21-year-old Willow Yon was killed on US-131 North when a driver who was going the wrong way hit her. 

Yon's family says US-131 near downtown has been a problem for years.

"The loss is tremendous and Willow is never coming home again," said Willow's father, Paul Yon. "Don't don't let that happen to you."

Paul and Willow's brother, Gage, are speaking out on the impacts drinking and driving has had on their family.

Willow was a student at Kendall College in Grand Rapids. She was killed by a driver who was under the influence in March of 2022.

Ashley Guadalupe Rodriguez-Hernandez, the driver of the car that hit Willow, was recently sentenced to over three years in prison. Her blood alcohol content was .114%. The legal limit is .08%.

"But I told the judge when we were in court that, you know, be prepared, there's more coming, because this accident keeps happening over and over again," said Paul.

Now, Paul and Gage want to see more done to prevent wrong-way drivers from entering Michigan highways.

"There's just something's gotta be done to start, start trying to eliminate it, you know, maybe the first try isn't going to do it," said Paul. "Maybe the second try won't, but you have to keep trying. And so strobe lights, spikes, something on those off ramps, so cars that are going the wrong way, that they are stopped there. And, ultimately, that's what we'd like to see."

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