Local College Graduate and Her Groom-to-Be Become Face of Tragedy

Mattison Haywood graduated Concordia University in 2010 and planned on becoming a doctor. Fiance Michael Myfett worked with autistic children. But more than anything, they were defined by their love.

With identification most of the Southern California high school students who perished in the fiery bus crash in Northern California Thursday delayed, one adult couple has become the face of the tragedy.

A FedEx big rig crossed the median on I-5 in Orland, clipping a car, then crashing into a charter bus carrying high school students on their way to Humboldt State University for a preview weekend. Ten died, five adults and five students.

Not unlike the students -- who were primarily inner-city children and those who would become the first in their families to go to college -- the smiling Facebook photos of Mattison Haywood, 25, and Michael Myvett were full of hope and promise.

The couple met while Haywood was a freshman at Humboldt. She would go on to get her degree at Concordia University in Irvine and had plans to become a doctor, according to her family in the NBC video above.

Meanwhile, Myvett worked with autistic children at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders in Torrance

A colleague there, Sarah Cho, told the New York Times, "He was very bubbly and positive, even on the most challenging days. With kids with autism, sometimes they have a bad day. And Michael was always able to be positive with those kids and those families.”

But more than the sum of their career goals, the couple was known for their love. On a Christmas trip to Paris a few months ago, Myvett pulled out a ring and proposed in the most romantic of settings. Haywood's family insists the proposal came as a complete surprise. 

"Had one of them survived, they would have been a wreck," said Haywood's father John Haywood said. "Because they were two peas in a pod."


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »