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Posted on Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 5:59 a.m.

Ann Arbor musicians remain in critical condition at U-M Hospital after I-94 crash

By Heidi Fenton

An Ann Arbor couple with deep roots in the city’s music community remain in critical condition at the University of Michigan Hospital, a spokesman confirmed Thursday.

Andrew Kratzat, 27, and Alicia Doudna, 30, suffered critical injuries in a July 26 crash on I-94 in Jackson County’s Parma Township.


Andrew Kratzat and Alicia Doudna

contributed photo

Police said a westbound semi truck tried to stop for slowing vehicles and attempted to avoid Doudna’s vehicle by moving to the right shoulder of the road. In the process, the truck’s trailer swung back and hit the Honda Civic, pushing it into another nearby semi around 12:53 p.m.

Kratzat, a passenger, was flown to the University of Michigan Medical Center from the scene and Doudna later followed in a flight to Ann Arbor from Jackson's Allegiance Health.

In days since the crash, friends and family have rallied around the couple, who are engaged to be married. A benefit concert was held Wednesday at the Canterbury House in Ann Arbor.

Deanna Relyea, executive director of the Kerrytown Concert House, said Doudna and Kratzat met at the music house several years ago when both performed in an ensemble as part of the annual Edgefest music celebration. Kratzat travels across the country as a bass player, she said, and Doudna is an acclaimed violinist.

For years, Doudna had an upper-level studio space at the concert house, where she offered violin lessons.

“She was very highly respected in the teaching community,” Relyea said. “Everyone who teaches upstairs, we all knew her and just are worried.”

Michael Gould, a professor of music at U-M who once instructed Kratzat and now performs with him, said the two were headed to visit family on the other side of the state for Kratzat’s birthday when the accident happened.

“The whole community here is sort of rallying behind him," Gould said.

Friends said Kratzat was recently offered a full-ride scholarship for graduate school at The Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University, and the couple planned to move to Baltimore in the fall.

“He’s a super deep thinker, insightful, sensitive, great musician. You can learn everything from that,” Gould said. “They add a lot to the music scene all over the country.”

Heidi Fenton covers police and courts for Reach her at or 734-623-4673. You also can follow her on Twitter or subscribe to's e-mail newsletters.



Sun, Aug 7, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

What a sad story. Wish the best for this young couple. Need to comment about this notion of "rear-ending", though: I think it is very simplistic to always pin the blame of the rear driving vehicle. There are many factors that go into accidents and to assign blame in all cases is nonsensical. What if there is a car in the middle of a moving line of traffic, in the middle of the lane, but stopped without explanation (to let out a passenger, etc), but is not pulled off to the side? There are all sorts of factors. And highway accidents are awful but let's get out of the blame game. It is not always possible to be going at a slow safe speed and avoid others hitting you.


Sat, Aug 6, 2011 : 1:53 a.m.

For God's SAKE! Why does every tragedy reported on become a political issue? Friends and family are traumatized right now. My husband, and all of my children are gifted musicians. I feel a bond with their friends and family here. Please respect their feelings everyone.


Sat, Aug 6, 2011 : 1:48 a.m.

I send blessings to these two gifted musicians. They, and their families and friends are in my thoughts.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:27 p.m.

As the mother of a fellow musician, I've been following the daily updates on this couple on their CaringBridge page. What comes through more powerfully than anything is the love and support and faith and hope of those surrounding Andrew and Alicia at this time. Always, even when they are clearly overwhelmed and bone weary, the parents continue to express positive feelings. The running commentary here needs to follow that example, in honor of these creative and loving young people


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3:41 p.m.

AGAIN you show the picture of the car? Have you absolutely no shame? These dear dear people are our close friends...and you have the insanity to grind the image in our memories..again? Please....take it down. This is obscene and prurient weirdness - "web-zines" and newspapers need the same filtering standards that "print media" have.


Sat, Aug 6, 2011 : 1:49 a.m.

I agree Steve.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:05 p.m.

Actually. I think the picture of the car shows how miraculous it is that they both survived.

Armena Marderosian

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:51 p.m.

Alicia and Alex are among those who keep Ann Arbor such a special cultural center with their many contributions to the beautiful classical music scene here. Many of us thank them for sharing their talents. Hope the University of Michigan medical people can support their recoveries to allow them to pick up and play their instruments soon! Young musicians like Alicia and Alex, sharing their talents, performing and teaching, help make the world a better place. -Armena of the Ann Arbor Suzuki Institute

John B.

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:51 p.m.

"She was very highly respected in the teaching community," Relyea said. "Everyone who teaches upstairs, we all knew her and just are worried." 'Was?' Um, she still is, I suspect....


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

I know this couple and just found out about this now! They just moved out of my neighborhood. They are an absolutely lovely couple who are kind and thoughtful. I am in absolute shock right now. They are in my thoughts.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 2:15 p.m.

When a car rear ends another vehicle, it is usually the case that the driver of the car that did the rear ending is considered at fault. I think the usual assumption is that all drivers have the responsibility to be driving at a safe speed for their vehicle and for the driving conditions so that they will be able to avoid rear ending the vehicle in front of them. I was involved in what sounds like a somewhat similar accident on I-94 several years ago. As traffic slowed to a stop for construction, I could see a semi approaching at a speed that seemed excessive for the slowing traffic. I quickly checked my rearview and side mirrors to see what my options were, but cars were approaching on the left. Within a fraction of a second my rear view mirror filled with the image of the semi, and my car was slammed from behind as the semi tried to veer off to the shoulder. My car was totaled because of the rear end damage, but I was very lucky to walk away. The semi driver was quite angry to be ticketed. I applauded law enforcement for standing up to that pressure and hope that law enforcement is continuing to insist that semi drivers be as responsible as car drivers in keeping us all safe on the highway.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 1:29 p.m.

"More freight trains would eliminate these type of accidents." ELIMINATE? Right! Just like If everyone took their kids to school we could eliminate school bus accidents. If everyone took trains we could eliminate plane crashes. If everyone was a vegetarian we could eliminate salmonella poisoning. If every dog owner was responsible we could eliminate dog bites.

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Aug 6, 2011 : 3:25 a.m.

"If everyone was a vegetarian we could eliminate salmonella poisoning" I think we need to add outhouses to the lettuce fields there jcj.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:39 p.m.

Prayers go out to the families of this couple. I hope they are able to make a full recovery. It sounds like the semi driver tried to avoid an accident. I hope he/she is OK as well.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 11:40 a.m.

More freight trains would eliminate these type of accidents. The Honda Civic never had a chance sandwiched between two Tractor trailer truck. Awful.

Craig Lounsbury

Sat, Aug 6, 2011 : 3:23 a.m.

A2_Wookie@ your exact words were "More freight trains would eliminate these type of accidents", emphasis on the word "eliminate" . If you had said "reduce" or "minimize" I would say fair point. But to "eliminate these type of accidents" (your words) would suggest trains should essentially replace trucks.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 4:44 p.m.

More freight trains, less road carnage. Still not sure where the horse drawn carriages com in to play, but then again, crowd is known to be obtuse.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 3 p.m.

Great idea and we should deliver it horse drawn wagons.


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:58 p.m.

Ummm... as Craig alluded to, there are just not train tracks going everywhere. Lots (if not most) of the good on semis actually did take a train ride already... then get transferred to a semi for more local delivery. It is definitely scary when semi drivers are this irresponsible though. I hope he gets charged with some serious stuff... this is borderline vehicular manslaughter if the worst should happen. **sending some positive energy to these two... you'll pull through**


Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

Anyone driving I-94, east or west, knows that some of these semi drivers are irresponsible, they take too long to overtake each other (causing incredible back-ups behind them) pull out at the drop of a hat and if there is a traffic hold up, because of road repairs or accident, feel that they have to jam the lanes by going very slowly, side by side. If I-94 were three lanes it might help, as it is trucks seem to think they own the two lanes that do exist. So, yes, freight trains would be the answer.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Aug 5, 2011 : 12:18 p.m.

"More freight trains would eliminate these type of accidents. " Huh? Are we all going to take our horse drawn wagons to the train station to pick up our bags of flour and beans?