Father and son remembered after fatal Warren crash

By: Brian Wells, Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published October 20, 2022

 Police said the driver and his passenger, now identified as 46-year-old Stephen Wee, right, and his son, 18-year-old Xander Wee, left, died at the scene of a crash at the Macomb Community College South Campus Oct. 10.

Police said the driver and his passenger, now identified as 46-year-old Stephen Wee, right, and his son, 18-year-old Xander Wee, left, died at the scene of a crash at the Macomb Community College South Campus Oct. 10.

Photos provided by D.S. Temrowski & Sons Funeral Home

WARREN — A family is grieving what they’re calling an “unbearable loss” after a crash claimed the lives of a father and son.

At approximately 1:20 p.m. Oct. 10, Warren police and firefighters were dispatched to 12 Mile and Hayes roads for a crash on Macomb Community College’s South Campus. When officers arrived, they found an SUV that appeared to have rolled over, Warren police said in a press release.

Police said the driver and his passenger, now identified as 46-year-old Stephen Wee and his son, 18-year-old Xander Wee, died at the scene. An initial investigation by Warren police determined that Stephen Wee suffered a medical emergency, causing him to strike several vehicles and objects.


‘They were tremendously loved, and they were really, really good people’
Heather Braegger, Stephen Wee’s sister, said it was just the five of them — Braegger, her sister, brother and parents — until they lost their father at 52 and their mother shortly thereafter. Then, it became just the three siblings.

“It was like the three of us against the world,” she said. “And losing my brother has felt like the pain is more than when my mom and dad died because now there’s just my sister and I. You’re not supposed to bury your baby brother.”

As difficult as that loss is for her family to deal with, it’s only made worse by the loss of their nephew, Braegger said.

“He was just a baby who’s just starting out in life. And he was a good kid. He wasn’t a troublemaker, wasn’t anything like that,” she said of Xander Wee. “He was a solid, good, kind, very kind soul who was always ready to help anyone.”

“I don’t really have a whole lot of words for it but that kind of sums it up, that these are good people that we have lost,” she added. “And the space they have left behind, there’s nobody that can take that space because they truly were one of a kind.”


‘He really enjoyed performing’
During all four of his high school years, Xander Wee would often be found on the theater stage. He was a member of the Warren Consolidated School of Performing Arts program, better known as WCSPA, which is housed at Sterling Heights High School.

WCSPA specializes in all aspects of theater, including acting, dancing and technical arts. Students in grades 9-12 attend class in a two-hour block at the high school. The students attend their other classes at their home school, which in Xander’s case was Cousino.

“When he came in, he was a really quiet kid,” WCSPA Artistic Director and teacher Erik Hart said. “You’d think he was shy.”

But he eventually opened up.

“He became more outgoing and showed more of a sense of humor. It was cool to see him develop so much,” Hart said. “He really enjoyed performing. He liked the artistic side of things. He felt comfortable around a group of peers that valued each other. It was his safe space.”

Xander Wee found his niche performing in various mini skits on stage, including William Shakespeare productions. He stood out when he was cast as Patrick Star in “The SpongeBob Musical,” which the talented WCSPA cast performed in June 2021. He also monkeyed around playing a monkey in the show “All in the Timing.”

Hart always appreciated Xander’s “resonating speaking voice” that sounded “like a television announcer.” While he could be counted on for his comedic chops, Xander also “had a contemplative side,” according to Hart.

“He really thought about issues,” Hart said. “He would form a perspective that no one thought of.”

And even though the theater class only met for two hours per day, Xander would usually be there after school as well. That gave him the opportunity to further bond with his friends in WCSPA.

Many of them are still in school and are coping with his loss. Sterling Heights High School Principal Craig Miller gave Hart the grim news about the fatal car crash. Hart then told the students.

“It was really hard with the whole group,” he said. “The worst thing, as a teacher, is having a student die.”

Xander Wee will be remembered not only for his talent, but also for his character outside the theater.

“He was very polite and respectful to adults,” Hart said.

The troupe will dedicate its next show in Xander’s memory by performing the comedy/drama “She Kills Monsters” at 7 p.m. Nov. 18-19 at the Warren Consolidated Schools Performing Arts Center, 12901 15 Mile Road in Sterling Heights.

After graduating from Cousino, Xander enrolled in courses at Macomb Community College. MCC spokesperson Jeanne Nicol said his declared concentration was information technology-programming for electronic games.

Nicol said the college is offering students, faculty and staff connections with resources to support them as they grieve.

“Our heartfelt condolences to the Wee family for their terrible loss and to all who are impacted by this tragedy,” Macomb Community College president James Sawyer said in a statement.

A GoFundMe appeal has been started to help the family with expenses, including funeral costs. To donate, visit gofundme.com/f/stephen-and-xander-wee.

“My brother had pre-existing conditions, he had tried repeatedly to get life insurance … he was not able to,” Braegger said. “That was the reason why we put up the GoFundMe, because when you’re 46, 18, you’re not really thinking, ‘Oh, this is the time I should plan.’ Who thinks that you should be planning a funeral for an 18-year-old?”