Mother of little girl killed in Shawano County crash shares her heartbreak

GoFundMe started to help family

SHAWANO COUNTY, Wis. - The mother of a Manitowoc girl killed in a Shawano County crash over the weekend is sharing her pain in the hopes of making a difference.

Nikkole Gonzales lost her daughter Kadenz McCollum, 7, in the crash. Her other daughter, Santanna, 10, was critically injured and is still in the hospital.

The girls' friend Eli Plagemann, 9, of Kiel was also killed.

The two girls and Plagemann were heading to a birthday party with a family friend Friday night, Gonzales told NBC26. The two daughters of the family friend were also in the car and survived the crash.

The group was driving on STH 29 at Limestone in Shawano County around 9:30 p.m. when Brian Bishop, 38, of Bonduel, was driving without his headlights on and crossed the center line, hitting the van they were in head-on, according to the Shawano County Sheriff's Department.

The sheriff's department believes the Bonduel man was drinking, but are waiting for blood results to confirm.

Sheriff Adam Bieber told NBC26 first responders plan to visit Santanna in the hospital soon.

"This particular crash was tragic for our first responders," said Sheriff Adam Bieber. "Obviously it's tragic for the family members, but when you see small children in a vehicle that's mangled and they're fighting for their lives, it makes a huge impact on the first responders."

Gonzales said Santanna is improving but will likely never walk again. She told NBC26 Wednesday that she is not ready to speak on camera, but she did send us this statement:

I would like some kind of advocacy on drunk driving. Drunk driving hurts many innocent people. I just want people to remember that when they go out and think they're having a good time, I want people to remember my girls and Eli. I want this tragedy to have an impact and maybe then someone will do something to stop this. Santanna is healing and we all will continue to fight through this tragedy.

A GoFundMe has been started for the family to help pay for Kadenz's funeral costs and Santanna's medical bills. If you would like to donate, visit their GoFundMe here.

The Sheriff's Office is trying to determine where Bishop was prior to the crash. If you have any information, you're asked to contact them.

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