‘Most tragic day of my life:’ Mother speaks out after fiance, mom are killed in crash

Posted at 9:49 PM, Dec 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-15 21:49:02-05

COMSTOCK TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A woman first learned of the deaths of her mom and fiance the same day she gave birth to a baby boy.

Both were on the way to see the newborn and mom when they were killed in a crash.

Authorities said the crash happened around 4:00 p.m. on Saturday along  South 26th Street near Cork Street. The vehicle was driving north when the driver lost control before veering into a tree, police said.

“Those were two big people in my life and to have them both gone at the same time is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” said Crystal Matrau-Belt, the woman who lost her fiance and mother just hours before she gave birth.

Matrau-Belt was scheduled to have a C-section Saturday evening, she called her fiance to tell him the news.

“He said he’d be up there and that he loved me and that he was on his way,” she said.

But Emil Skokan III, 34, and Matrau-Belt’s mother, Peggy Nichols, 53, never made it to the hospital that night.

Nearly four hours after giving birth, Matrau-Belt’s family gathered around her hospital bed and broke the tragic news.

“I just started screaming and yelling, saying no that’s not true. I was just getting out of surgery, I was trying to jump out of bed and they were holding me down I was freaking out so bad,” she said. “With my mom, you couldn’t find a more caring person in the world, she literally helped anyone and everyone.”

Through tragedy, Matrau-Belt says she still has a reason to wake up every morning; that reason, is her new baby boy.

Jeremiah Matrau-Skokan was born Saturday  at 8:03 p.m.

“He is just the perfect little boy, I swear, I could not ask for a better son,” Matrau-Belt said. “Everything reminds me of him [Skokan].”

A son who Matrau-Belt says has the eyes of his father who he unfortunately will never get to meet.

“I thank Emil for this blessing. Even though he’s not here to be able to share it, he gave me my greatest blessing,” she said. “To not have him here, I just feel really empty.”

“I couldn’t do it without my son and it’s hard sometimes to look at him and see Emil, but it overcomes the hard because I’m so grateful I have a piece of him for the rest of my life, I’ll have him with me,” Matrau-Belt said.

It’s unclear what caused Skokan to veer off the road, however, police do believe speed was a factor.

Memorial services have been set up for Skokan an Nichols.

Skokan’s funeral will be held Wednesday at Langland Family Funeral Homes, Memorial Chapel at 11 a.m.

Nichol’s visitation is set for Thursday from 6-8 at Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Westside Chapel and her funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday. Interment will immediately follow the service, at Mt. Ever-Rest Memroial Park South.

There is a GoFundMe Account set up to help raise money for Matrau-Belt and her son. Unfortunately, Skokan was the family’s only source of income, leaving Matrau-Belt with little money and no work. If you would like to donate, click here.