Two years since MSU student was killed in moped crash; remembering Tiana Seville

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– January 15th marks two years since a 21-year-old Michigan State University student was killed after her moped and an MSU salt truck collided on campus.

Tiana Seville, was a daughter, sister, and friend to many. “She was just like a light in everybody’s world and she was a really good older sister and role model to look up to,” said Amina Vakili, Tiana’s sister.

She was a varsity gymnast at Grand Ledge High School and also a former Grand Valley State University cheerleader. Her mother says she cared for everyone she met.

“After she passed away, people that reached out to me, I didn’t even realize some of the things that she was doing like she was writing letters to soldiers in combat zones and people who didn’t have friends she would befriend them because she didn’t want them to feel lonely and it just really touched my heart,” said Tonya Phillips, Tiana’s mother.

On January 15th, 2019, just before 8 o’clock in the morning, Tiana was taking her moped to class. Her moped and an MSU salt truck collided. Tiana died from her injuries.

“You look forward to growing old and having your children get married, have children and that was taken away from me, I was very close to Tiana, she was the light of my life,” said Tonya.

Information obtained from a Freedom of Information Act shows that the driver of the MSU salt truck has had eight crashes including the one with Tiana. Five of those were from property damage incidents and three were traffic crashes. All ranging from 2015 to 2019. In November of 2019, the driver was found not guilty in Tiana’s case.

“We are broken from this and will never be able to fully heal from it and he can’t even say sorry,” said Amina. The family says they do want to hear from the driver, even if it’s through an attorney.

“I live my life just day in and day out just thinking that perhaps she not dead and that maybe someday she’ll just walk through the door again…so mostly I live in disbelief that this really happened, that’s the only way I can live day to day, but when the realization hits, it shatters my heart,” said Tonya.

Since Tiana’s death, she’s be honored in many different communities.

The GVSU cheer squad dedicated their Nationals uniform to Tiana. A bench was created in Tiana’s memory that’s now in the Grand Ledge High School gymnasium. Her name is also on a memorial highway sign in Lansing on Saginaw Highway.

“It’s just really hard to live without her on a day to day basis because we would talk everyday and always have fun together and it’s kind of hard to see other people with their sisters, and I mean I’m happy for them obviously, but to see how close other sisters are…. I used to have that and now I don’t,” said Amina.

Through the tears and memories, her family says they’ll never forget the brightness that Tiana brought into their lives.

“Through all the tragedy that has happened, it’s brought a lot of people close together and getting closer to each other and being more appreciative of each other is really important and just appreciating the people you have in your life because you never know when you’ll see them again,” said Amina.

For those who are still grieving over Tiana’s death, her family says to please reach out to them. Her mother says hearing about her sharing memories is something they love.

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