Western Michigan University student from Lisle killed in hit-and-run crash; 1 arrested, police say

ByCate Cauguiran and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Western Michigan University student from Lisle killed in hit-and-run crash
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Kaylee Gansberg, a 21-year-old Western Michigan University student from Lisle, IL, was killed in a Kalamazoo, MI hit and run crash, police said.

LISLE, Ill. (WLS) -- A suburban college student was killed in a hit-and-run crash near campus.

It happened early Saturday in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Kaylee Gansberg, a 21-year-old from Lisle, was killed. She was a student at Western Michigan University.

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"She had her whole life ahead of her," said her father Keith Gansberg. "And it was all taken away by this one incident."

"We were there for her first heartbeat, and we were there for the last," said mother Michele Gansberg.

Her parents raced to her bedside in Kalamazoo after the crash.

"I just wanted to get in be with my baby," Michele said "I just laid with her and held my baby."

Doctors told them the crash had caused traumatic brain injuries.

"We only had a few hours with her before we lost her completely," Keith said.

Gansberg was a fine arts major in the honors program at Western Michigan. She was set to graduate and travel the world.

"We were just blown away by the things she kept doing," her mother said.

"She was her own person. She didn't need anybody else. She could do anything," said Alex Gansberg, brother.

"She turned every negative into a positive, no matter where we were," said friend Ashley Kowalski.

"She was so beautiful. She had the most phenomenal smile. She had such beautiful eyes," her father said. "I will miss her so badly, and our lives are changed forever. I'll never be the same without her."

Gansberg graduated from Lisle High School in 2019. The district released a statement that said, in part, "Kaylee was a vibrant part of our school community from elementary through high school. Those who had the privilege of meeting Kaylee know the impact she had on those around her."

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Police have arrested a 22-year-old man in the hit-and-run, who is suspected of driving under the influence. Charges are still pending.