by Caitlin Huston
LOGANSPORT — Deb Mohler has been overwhelmed by the community’s positive support since her daughter Nicole “Niki” Savini was killed in an early morning September car crash.
Savini died Sept. 2 after her car ran off the side of U.S. 24 and flipped over an embankment, police have said. And while Mohler is learning to cope with the death of her 32-year-old daughter, she still has questions about the accident that no one has been able to answer so far.
The Cass County Sheriff’s Department was alerted to the accident after a woman reported seeing Savini’s crashed 1997 Chevy Blazer SUV about two miles west of Logansport. The back of her car was visible from the road, said Sheriff Randy Pryor.
Savini was driving home from work when her car crashed, Mohler said. Mohler had just seen her daughter that evening for the first time in a week and said that she had seemed happy to be with her family.
The next thing Mohler heard was that Savini had been in a fatal wreck.
“I was visited by the sheriff and the coroner in the early morning that [Sunday] with the news that my daughter was dead,” Mohler said with a sigh. “Thirty-two years old.”
The early morning visit and the news of Savini’s death seemed unreal at the time, Mohler said.
“I couldn’t accept it,” Mohler said. “I broke down.”
And while Mohler knows what Savini was doing early Saturday evening, she and Savini’s children — a 15-year-old boy, an 11-year-old boy and eight-year-old girl — still want to know what happened to make her car crash.
“If there’s someone out there who knows something, I would ask them to please come forward,” she said. “If anything, for her children because they’ll be asking questions some day.”
Detective Tom Heflin of the sheriff’s department said he still has not heard from anyone who witnessed the crash.
“I’ve received a couple phone calls but they were things we’d already known,” Heflin said.
He said he believes several vehicles may have seen the crash, because video footage from nearby businesses shows heavy traffic in the area around the time of the 4 a.m. crash.
Heflin said he is waiting for subpoenas and processed evidence to come back, but any information from witnesses would greatly aid the case
As the investigation continues, Mohler said she’s begun to come to terms with her daughter’s death through the support of the community as well as family and friends.
At her funeral service, Mohler said she was both comforted and shocked by the steady stream of people who talked with her about her daughter for 5 1/2 hours.
“I had no idea that Niki had touched so many lives,” she said.
Savini split her time between working at Peak Community Center and bartending around town. Mohler said she was also a passionate advocate of autism awareness and tirelessly worked to help bring resources to the community.
As Savini advocated, Mohler said her daughter would constantly tell her, “We have people whose needs are not being met.”
Savini’s memory was also honored through the Pumpkin Run for Autism Saturday and will be celebrated with several more events scheduled in the future.
“The community of Logansport has wrapped their arms around my family,” Mohler said.
Mohler added that she wanted to thank the first responders, sheriff’s department and coroner who responded to the crash.
While Mohler said she is greatly saddened by the loss of her daughter, she said her death has taught her how important she was to the community.
“Nothing but love has come out of this,” she said. “Sadness, but love.”
Anyone with information on the crash is urged to contact the Cass County Sheriff’s Department at 574-753-7800.