Seconds after the car slammed into a restaurant in Crystal Lake, Danae Seitz thought she was unconscious.
Michael Seitz and Danae Seitz of Lake in the Hills heard the crash as they walked to their table at Buffalo Wings and Rings.
Modern Day Romeos drummer Michael pushed her away but couldn’t get out of the caring car’s path. On Sunday, he remained at Northwestern Medicine’s Huntley Hospital, awaiting surgery for his injury.
Crystal Lake Police said the vehicle’s driver, the Nissan Altima, attempted to park and crossed the sidewalk into the restaurant for “unknown reasons.”
Danae said they are still reeling from the crash. “It’s overwhelming at the moment.”
“There was noise, but it was quiet in my head,” Danae said immediately after the crash. Then she heard Michael yell, “Stop, stop,” Danae said.
He was initially trapped under a car, she said. But somehow the car backed up and he was able to get out. “He said the driver backed up,” she said.
Michael and three others were taken to a local hospital.
We don’t have a full medical picture of Michael yet. The surgery, tentatively set for April 3, will likely be performed at another facility.
“We play every day,” said Danae, but surgery won’t come until the swelling in his leg subsides. Physical therapy and long-term recovery are almost certain.
Danae knows personally what the next few months will be like for Michael. In October 2020, he fell out of his family’s Lake Place camper and shattered his leg and ankle. “Her legs have her 10-inch plates, 12-inch scars and her 14 screws,” she said.
For 16 weeks that fall, she was confined to a chair in the living room. It took her a full year to recover, Danae said.
If the car had hit her, we don’t know if her body could have been traumatized again if Michael hadn’t pushed her out of the way.
Had they been sitting in a booth at the time of the crash, she said the outcome would have been even worse.
“The odds of this happening have to be one in a billion,” his friend and bandmate Jim Wojira said after the crash.
Michael and Wojdyla are members of Modern Day Romeos with Michael playing drums. Wojdyla, along with his other band members, launched his GoFundMe on Friday to cover any bills he may have to deal with over the next three months.
Wojdyla said Seitz won’t be able to work or play in his band for the next few months because he’s a union electrician with no short-term disability benefits.
“He seems to be in a good mood…and is getting a lot better,” Wojdyla said. “But he has no income and he has a family to rely on.”
As of Sunday afternoon, the page had received over 400 donations, raising over $28,000.
He seems to be in a good mood…and is doing much better. … but there is no income and there is a family to rely on.
— Jim Wodilla, friend and bandmate of Michael Seitz
As Michael lay in his hospital bed Saturday night, Danae said he cried “because he doesn’t deserve it” at the outpouring of support from his community.
Danae told her husband, “You are a good person. Our community is working hard to help you. You have to let them.”
Meanwhile, Wings and Rings said in a social media post on Friday that it was focusing on the well-being of those involved before beginning repairs to the building.
“Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us regarding the traumatic events our staff and guests have endured. [on Thursday]’” the post said. “Our hearts are with all involved.”
As of Thursday, the cause of the crash is under investigation. Crystal Lake Police could not be reached over the weekend for an update on the crash.