• College student's death brings life to others

    By: Mike Petchenik


    ROSWELL, Ga. - Family and former teachers of a Roswell High School graduate killed in a car wreck with the University of Alabama cheerleader bus are remembering her as a selfless, giving person.

    Natalie Baine, 20, died Jan. 11, three days after the wreck in Montgomery, Ala. Police there believe the driver of the truck in which she was riding may have cut off the bus, causing a three-vehicle wreck.

    Montgomery police said they are still investigating whether to file charges against anyone.

    Baine's stepsisters, Lexi and Lauren Korowitz, and her older brother, Nathan, sat down with Channel 2's Mike Petchenik to talk about the University of Alabama junior.

    "She was just always there for us," said Lexi Korowitz, who considered Baine a triplet because they are only five months apart. "We literally did everything together."

    Lauren Korowitz described Baine as a unifier, who always had friends surrounding her.

    "She was always the friend getting everyone together," she said.

    On the night of the crash, Lexi Korowitz said their father called them at school in Tuscaloosa and told them to head to the hospital in Montgomery. When they arrived, their sister was in surgery.

    "You never think about losing one of your siblings," said Nathan Baine. "You think that's a ridiculous thought."

    Baine said what's giving his family some solace is the fact that his sister's organs are helping to keep other people alive.

    "There's a 13-year-old girl who got a heart transplant that worked, there's a 10-year-old got a kidney, a 58-year-old man got a liver," he said.

    "We were all hoping for a miracle," said Lauren Korowitz. "These other people she helped, they all received their miracle."

    Baine was a four-year varsity basketball standout at Roswell High School.

    Former coach Lesley Broadwell said Natalie Baine was a great basketball player, but an even better person.

    "A magnetic personality, to say the least," said Broadwell, who now coaches at Cambridge High School in Milton. "Always a smile on her face, a bounce in her step and just someone you wanted to be around."

    Broadwell kept in touch with Natalie Baine after her graduation and is in disbelief about what's happened.

    "It's unbelievable, unfathomable, something we're all still struggling with," she said.

    Former Roswell principal Edward Spurka said Natalie Baine made a huge impression on him during her tenure at the school.

    "I spent 10 years at Roswell, had about 5,000 students go through my time there and Natalie was that one student who stood out," he said.

    Natalie Baine's visitation is scheduled for Thursday at Roswell Funeral Home.

    A funeral mass will be held at St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church in Roswell on Friday. Services will also be held in Oklahoma before Natalie Baine is buried at Floral Haven Cemetery in Broken Arrow, Okla.

    Memorial contributions may be made in Natalie's name to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.


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