Michigan Mom Dies Saving 5-Year-Old Twins in Crash by Shielding Them with Her Body, Says Family

A mother in Michigan has tragically died after selflessly shielding her 5-year-old twins during a car crash, according to her family.

Hillarie Galazka, 29, was driving home with her twin sons on Monday when her Saturn Ion was rear-ended on the entrance ramp of the I-96 near Davison, WJBK reported.

"Her body saved them," Galazka's mother, Jodie Kelley, told the outlet. "The boys say they saw her open her eyes, and look at them and then she closed her eyes, never opened them again. They remember that."

Jodie said the twins only suffered minor injuries because Galazka threw her body in front of the boys and her body took the brunt of the impact.

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"I'm just glad the babies survived a tragedy for the family," Galazka's brother, Jacob Galazka, said. "Everyone loves those kids. Everyone loves Hillarie. She is a good-hearted, strong, beautiful woman. She didn't deserve this death."

According to the Michigan State Police, the driver of the other vehicle was a 25-year-old man who had previously been convicted of driving on a suspended license multiple times, MLive.com reported.

The man, whose identity has not been released by authorities, also had five current suspensions and a pair of local warrants out for his arrest, police said.

He was found at a local hospital after fleeing the scene of the crash on foot, according to authorities. Police say the man allegedly told them that he ran to a gas station and got a ride to the emergency room.

An investigation is ongoing. A spokesperson for the Michigan State Police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

In a GoFundMe campaign set up to raise funds for her funeral, Galazka is described as a "strong loving mother."

Another fundraiser set up in support of her children said that her family will face "a long recovery process" following Galazka's death.

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