Wrong-way driver described as artistic, smart

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Samantha Winchester was a 23-year-old woman whose future appeared bright.

It ended when she was killed after police said she headed the wrong way Saturday morning on M-14 and struck a vehicle carrying the University of Wisconsin's mens assistant basketball coach Howard Moore and his family.

Moore's daughter, Jaidyn, 9, died at the scene, police said; his wife, Jennifer, was taken off life support and died on Saturday. Howard Moore, 46, and his son, Jerell, 13, sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the crash.

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Winchester's supervisor at a country club where she worked said she had recently graduated from the University of Michigan.

“I think she had some kind of medical major, and she was really smart, but also very creative,” said Mohamed Nageeb, 26, in a phone interview Sunday. He is a supervisor at the Barton Hills Country Club in Ann Arbor. Nageeb said she worked there as a bartender for about two or three years.

“We  had her scheduled to work next Sunday,” he said. “We’re just all so shocked.”

Nageeb called her "bubbly, smart and artistic," said her Instagram page is filled with her art work. “She’s got all sorts of art work on there,” he said.

Her Instagram page is private.

“Everybody loved her," Nageeb added. "She’d bring a smile to anyone’s face.”

Her Facebook page said Winchester, who is from Saline and lived in Ann Arbor, also worked at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor. UM spokeswoman Kara Gavin said Winchester began working at the university health system "near the end of April" as a patient service assistant in the post-surgery area of the operating room for Michigan Medicine.”  

Michigan State Police Brighton Post spokesman Lt. Darren Green said they’re still searching for answers. Winchester was pronounced dead at the scene and toxicology reports are pending, police said earlier.

“She was the lone occupant in the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene,” said Green. “We don’t know why she was travelling the wrong way, or how long she had been travelling the wrong way. Based on the toxicology reports and autopsy, pieces of the puzzle may come together to answer those questions. But then again, we may never know.”

He said troopers are doing their “due diligence to reach out to people who may have known where she was going before the crash.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Brighton Post at (810) 227-1051.