September 2, 2014
UPLAND, Ind. (AP) - A Taylor University student initially misidentified three years ago as a classmate who died in a car wreck has graduated from the liberal arts college in northern Indiana.
The school says Whitney Cerak of Gaylord, Mich., received a bachelor's degree in psychology Saturday.
Cerak was severely injured when a school van carrying students and staff was struck by a semi trailer in 2006. Classmate Laura Van Ryn, who closely resembled Cerak, died along with four others in the crash.
The Van Ryn family later realized that the young woman they were
caring for was Cerak.
The truck driver pleaded guilty to five counts of reckless homicide and four counts of criminal recklessness and in 2007 was sentenced to four years in prison.