The driver of the vehicle heading in the wrong direction on Highway 11 before colliding head-on into a minivan, leaving a young mother fighting for her life, is “devastated” by the crash.
Mike Grelowski, according to a close friend who did not want to be identified, suffers from Type 1 diabetes. He had a “severe insulin reaction” prior to the crash that occurred Wednesday night at about 7 p.m. in the northbound lanes of Highway 11 between Soules Road and Menoke Beach Road.
Friends say Grelowski went to a fast-food establishment to get some food to help balance his sugar levels. However, people at the eatery thought he was drunk and he was “denied service, which caused him to be further disoriented and confused.”
Soon after, he entered the highway going in the wrong direction and collided with the minivan, driven by Jennilynn Reed. Her two young children sustained minor injuries; she was airlifted to a Toronto hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Witnessed said the scene of the crash was horrific. The north-bound lanes of the busy highway were closed for almost six hours.
“It was an awful scene,” Mark MacLean told OrilliaMatters following the crash. Like several others, including an off-duty doctor and nurse, MacLean quickly pulled over and tried to lend a hand.
“The first thing I did was rush to the woman who was trapped in the white van to comfort her until a paramedic arrived,” said MacLean of Reed. “Another gentleman and lady smashed out a window to relieve the smoke from inside and they took two young children out of the van also.”
He said it was a heart-breaking incident. “It hurt me inside. When I got home, couldn't sleep … I’m just praying for them.”
Grelowski had surgery at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto Friday and is in critical condition. He has a broken leg, arm and knee injuries and is “devastated” by the crash, said the friend.
Some friends have started a Gofundme account for the Orillia man. (www.gofundme.com/5ekyi5c?member=74960) This is what the account’s description says:
“Mikey is a father of two beautiful twin girls and had just started a new job. He will require extensive rehabilitation and won’t be able to work/provide for his children for quite some time due to this terrible and very tragic accident.
Anyone who knows Mikey knows he is a great person and an amazing friend, brother, son and father!
We would like to raise funds for Mikey so that he can help provide for his children and cover some of his expenses while he recovers from this terrible accident. We pray for everyone involved!”
An Gofundme account has also been established for the Reed family. (www.gofundme.com/help-out-the-reeds )
Orillia OPP Const. Martin Hill said he could not provide an update on the condition of Reed. Hill said the OPP’s investigation into the collision is ongoing and could not provide further details. He urges witnesses who observed the vehicle or the collision to call OPP at 1-888-310-1122.