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Sheboygan Hero Mom Died Saving Daughter and Pregnant Friend

Posted on Sep 04, 2011

Barbara Janke was leaving the Brat Days Festival on August 6 with her 19-year-old daughter and her 5-months-pregnant friend, also aged 19.

The three of them stopped and checked for traffic before crossing the street, when a blue sedan came barreling towards them, with no headlights on. Janke caught sight of the danger and didn't hesitate: she pushed the two young women out of the way and took the full force of the impact herself.

Janke was taken to hospital in a coma and died Monday, the Chicago Tribune reports.

"If you would have known my mother, that's just who she was," said Shanna Bassler, aged 31, Janke's oldest daughter, "I am not surprised that she would push the girls out of the way."

The two young women suffered minor injuries. Bassler said her sister was released from hospital Sunday, while her pregnant friend suffered a large cut in the back of her head and a possible broken leg.

Kayla Mary Bower, 19, the driver of the blue sedan, was charged with five counts of felony, including homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. A court commissioner set her bail at $100,000 and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 19.

The attorneys of Hupy & Abraham send their deepest feelings of sympathy to the family and friends of Mrs. Barbara Janke.