SHOREWOOD -- A Shorewood family came together Monday, April 8, united while facing immense tragedy. Megan Frieseke, 17, lost her life in a crash Sunday, March 31 near Cottage Grove in Dane County. On Monday, at a fundraiser for the family, her twin sister Emily, hurt in the crash, spoke for the first time.
The benefit took place at Draft and Vessel in Shorewood from 3 p.m. until midnight. Guided by loved ones, it was a bittersweet homecoming for Emily Frieseke.
"I'm getting better every day, but it has been a process and I'm very lucky that I'm home," said Emily Frieseke.
The 17-year-old Shorewood High School junior received an outpouring of love outside Draft and Vessel.
"I wanted to see all the support from my community," said Emily Frieseke. "I haven't really had much time to really think about what happened."
Officials with the Wisconsin State Patrol said a preliminary investigation revealed a Ford Focus and Honda Pilot headed westbound lost control. The Honda Pilot went through the median and crashed into a Toyota Highlander, headed eastbound.
Megan and Emily Frieseke were passengers in the Highlander. A third passenger, a 23-year-old woman from Manitowoc, and the driver, a 23-year-old man from Shorewood, suffered injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
A 23-year-old Hartland man was driving the Ford Focus and wasn't hurt.
A 42-year-old Madison man was driving the Honda Pilot and suffered injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
"She was my best friend. I was with her every single day -- all the time," said Emily Frieseke of her late sister Megan.
Their older brother Bryan was also in the vehicle.
"We were there at that point in time for a reason. We have to figure out why? Why us?" said Bryan Frieseke. "The emotion is real. It gets you thinking that each day, each minute...to treasure it."
Their father, Rick Frieseke showed his own fortitude after heartbreak.
"We've really been touched by how Shorewood has really embraced us," said Rick Frieseke.
They said they were strengthened by the outpouring of love.
"It just shows how much a community can have for a family," said Emily Frieseke.