ORLANDO, Fla. – The parents of two siblings killed Tuesday in a crash on Interstate 95 after a suspect fleeing authorities struck their vehicle head-on in Volusia County say the young adults will continue to live on through their organ donations.
The wreck happened when a 47-year-old man driving a stolen vehicle out of Orange County attempting to evade authorities by making a U-turn on the interstate, driving north in the southbound lanes crashing into the SUV with three siblings and their cousin inside. The man from Orlando was also killed in the crash.
Domynick Milis, 21, and Danycka Milis, 18, of Omro, Wisconsin, were on their way back to the house where they were staying Tuesday night after seeing the Christmas lights at the Daytona International Speedway when they were killed in the crash, Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said. Their younger brother and cousin were seriously injured in the crash.
A letter from the Schools District of Omro, Wisconsin sent to families Wednesday identified the victims. Both were graduates from the school district in Winnebago County, Wisconsin.
Family friend Carrie Hill started a GoFundMe for the Milis family to cover funeral costs. More than half of the $100,000 goal had been met by Thursday morning with donations from 1,000 people.
“They’re doing as best as they can,” Hill said. “Now they have to be strong for their other two children. Not only do they have their own grieving process to go through, but they’re helping the children adjust also.”
Tina Milis, the victims’ mother, shared a message on the fundraising site describing the siblings as “the best of friends” and writing she was “thankful they had each other on their journey to heaven.”
The brother and sister were both organ donors, she wrote.
“Domynick and Danycka were both organ donors so someone will be able to see this beautiful world through their eyes, hear their heartbeat a bit stronger with new valves and walk a little taller with new veins,” Tina and Daniel Milis said in a statement posted to a GoFundMe for the family.
Hill said the siblings were also avid runners.
“Domynick and Danycka just both loved to run and in fact they actually got scholarships for track,” Hill said.
Chitwood said the Milis’ missed their exit prior to the crash and if they hadn’t, they would be alive today.
“Life is precious. Twenty-five yards, 25 yards difference. They make that exit, they’re alive. They missed that exit, they’re dead. Life is precious. This time of the year, every time of the year, you should maybe hold your family a little closer because some family’s not doing that tonight,” the sheriff said.
The driver of the stolen car has not been identified by authorities. Chitwood said he had a lengthy criminal history and was shocked he was not in jail at the time of the crash.
“He murdered two people. Those kids were murdered. It’s no different than if he took a gun and put it to their heads, what he did to those kids,” Chitwood said of the suspect.
Domynick and Danycka’s 13-year-old brother, Drake, was in the back seat of the SUV and suffered serious injuries. He was taken to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando. According to his mother’s post, he has a broken clavicle, fractured ribs and bruised lungs as well as a laceration to his kidney that doctor’s are closely watching.
The sibling’s 17-year-old cousin, Kyley Larsen, was also in the SUV and suffered serious injuries. Larsen was taken to Halifax Hospital, according to an FHP report. A GoFundMe page has also been created to help with her medical expenses.
All four were wearing seat belts, the FHP said.
In the post, Tina and Daniel Milis thanked their friends and family for the outpouring of love and support but asked for continued prayers.
“We have no idea how we will go through life without 2 of the most amazing, caring, selfless human beings that I will forever be able to call my son and daughter,” the post read.
Family and friends are planning a candlelight vigil for Domynick and Danycka Milis on New Year’s Eve at Omro High School in Wisconsin.
“Please continue with your prayers, your support and that is going to help them get through,” Hill said.
Adrienne Cutway contributed to this report.