Vietnamese exchange student dies weeks after being injured in Saginaw County crash

SAGINAW, MI — Nearly a month after she was involved in a two-car crash in Saginaw County, a Vietnamese exchange student has succumbed to her injuries.

On May 22, sheriff’s deputies responded to the crash site at the intersection of North Center and Pierce roads in Kochville Township. They arrived to find a Honda passenger car and a Pontiac Grand Am had collided.

The Honda contained four Saginaw Valley State University exchange students from Vietnam. A backseat passenger, 22-year-old Phuong Thi Nam Trinh, suffered life-threatening injuries that required hospitalization.

Trinh died at Covenant HealthCare hospital in Saginaw on June 13, deputies confirmed.

“It was horrible,” said Sheriff William L. Federspiel. “It’s such a tragic, tragic case. Here she is in our country going to school and she gets injured. She’s on her deathbed and her parents are trying to get here, and I don’t know if they ever did.”

Deputies determined the Honda had been westbound on Pierce Road when it turned left into the path of the northbound Grand Am. The Grand Am was driven by a 17-year-old Saginaw Township male, deputies said.

Deputies do not believe alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash. No citations have been issued and he investigation report is being sent to the Saginaw County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

Trinh was a senior at SVSU and was majoring in accounting. She was to graduate in December.

“She was very involved at SVSU, as the two-time president of the International Student Club, a Vitito Fellow, an International Orientation Leader, and a volunteer with Passport to the World,” SVSU published on its Facebook page. “Phuong was extremely dedicated to her time here at SVSU as a student, a mentor, and a friend. She will be remembered by many.”

An on-campus memorial service is to take place in early September.

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