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Former Miss Fort Wayne killed in car crash over weekend

PULASKI COUNTY, Ill. (WPTA 21) – A former Miss Fort Wayne was killed in a car crash over the weekend.

The crash happened in southern Illinois Sunday evening.

27-year-old Morgan Grady was traveling from Fort Wayne where she lived, to Arkansas for her family’s Thanksgiving.

Her car broke down on I-57 in southern Illinois.

That’s when police say the driver of a pickup truck hauling a camper slowed down to avoid hitting Grady’s car.

The pickup truck was then rear-ended by a semi-tractor trailer.

The force of the crash sent the pickup truck into Grady’s car and killed her.

Grady was not in her car at the time of the crash.

Courtney Jurick is a good friend of Grady’s and said when she heard the news she first thought it was a joke.

But, after realizing it was all real that’s when Jurick said her world crumbled.

“I’ll never get to see her again or talk to her again. I mean, it just rocked my entire world yesterday. It’s still rocking my world,” said Jurick.

The same emotions were felt by Jan Mertl, the co-director of the Miss Duneland pageant organization.

Mertl said losing Morgan was like losing a daughter, “I was a wreck yesterday myself.”

Both Mertl and Jerick said Grady as un-apologetically herself.

She had a love for dance and helping others achieve their goals.

However, it was her driven personality that sticks out to them most.

Grady owned her own organization, ‘Music Fuels Movement’ which was designed to help girls competing in the Miss America organization work on their talent for the competition.

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Jurick said Grady was beautiful both inside and out, but now she’s left with only the memories of her dear friend.

“We called each other Miss Indiana ‘twinsies.’ I’ll never get to sit around and joke with her again about anything in life,” added Jurick.

With the sudden loss of Grady, Jurick said she wonders why it had to be her friend.

“We all get in our cars and we drive to see family. We drive to and from work every single day. This honestly is just a reminder to just live every single day like it’s your last,” said Jurick.

Grady’s family and friend ask that if you would like to honor her legacy you can share her love for the Miss America organization by donating to the Miss Indiana scholarship fund in her name.

If you share her belief that the arts should be a part of every kid’s education you can donate to NLR High School Drama and Dance program.

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Kaitlyn Kendall

Kaitlyn Kendall anchors ABC21 news at 5 and is the chief investigative reporter for the stations Digging Deeper team.

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