KANSAS CITY -- A woman died in a crash just days after her 50th birthday. Now her family and investigators want answers into what happened to the woman who was helped by state troopers just hours before she died on the Kansas Turnpike.
FOX 4's Melissa Stern spoke to the victim's family about the crash near Wichita, and the broken fuel gauge that may have cost the woman her life.
“I was just terrified, I was hurt, I just started screaming and hollering, my baby is gone,” says Myra Kimber, Luvenia Lewis' mother.
Kimber says her daughter celebrated her 50th birthday on Saturday, then police showed up at Kimber's door Wednesday and said her daughter had been killed in an accident near Wichita.
“Bad impact, you know, just killed her immediately, that`s what I was told,” Kimber said.
She says her daughter was heading to Oklahoma to see about some land she inherited.
“She was going down there, because she hadn`t been getting the checks that she was normally getting, and she was going down there to see about that,” Kimber added.
According the Kansas Highway Patrol, Lewis ran out of gas on the turnpike Wednesday morning. A trooper stopped to help and physically pushed her car to the side of the road.
Lewis told him she ran out of gas and he gave her two gallons, then she went on her way.
Investigators say Lewis passed at least four exits on the turnpike where she could have stopped at a gas station, but less than two hours later, she was hit by a semi after investigators say she'd stopped on the side of the turnpike again.
“You never know what the car was acting like, it`s an old car, and she`s driving a stick,” Kimber described.
Lewis drove a 2002 Saturn VUE-- and Kimber says the gas gage was broken.
“The car that she had didn`t tell you when you were getting empty,” added Kimber. “She ran out of gas before, because her gas gauge doesn`t register.”
Kimber says her daughter was a lovely, kind woman, and loved God. She had many degrees and taught kids with special needs. While she doesn't know all the answers as to why the crash happened, she says she probably wasn't thinking clearly.
“The policeman that was talking on the phone to us, told us that she did tell him she was very afraid, he says why, and she says because I`m a black woman and you are white, and all the black people who have been on the highway have been getting killed, and I`m just afraid of you,” Kimber said.
Kimber says she's looking for more information and asked for an autopsy. The Kansas Highway Patrol has requested an autopsy, but says it's up to the coroner in Butler County whether that will happen.