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Kansas City woman fondly remembers husband of four decades killed in a ‘freak’ crash

KANSAS CITY,  Mo. -- The wife of a 67-year-old Kansas City man who died in a traffic crash Thursday tells FOX 4 her husband was supposed to be off work when the crash that claimed his life occurred.

“When I saw the looks on their faces, I didn`t want to know, I told them I didn`t want to talk to them,” said Sylvia Skali.

When police showed up at Skali's job, she knew immediately something awful had happened. Michael Skali died Thursday when a wheel came loose from a trailer being towed by a pickup heading in the opposite direction along I-435, hit his vehicle and caused him to crash.

FOX 4's Melissa Stern spoke to his widow on Friday, who says it must have been God’s will. Sylvia says they just recently discussed what they would do if one of them were to lose the other. She says she never thought she'd face that question this soon.

“There were two police officers waiting for me in the conference room,” Sylvia recalled, “I didn`t want to know. When I walked in, I didn`t want to know…”

“He worked part-time for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and he was transporting a car, I`m thinking probably coming from the airport, but he was in an Enterprise car, he had asked on Wednesday to take one of his personal days yesterday, but they asked him to come in because they had some special things they were working on, and needed some extra people....it must have been what God wanted."

The impact of the crash caused Skali to run off the left side of the road and into a concrete barrier. He died at the scene.

“We never went to bed angry, we loved each other very, very much, he was my best friend,” Sylvia said of their marriage.

The Skalis have been married 43 years and have two children, and two grandkids. Sylvia says he was a homebody, and a ton of fun, they played backgammon together daily. She'll miss those games, and her a spiritual partner, who loved people, and his family.

“Through our church at St. Thomas More, we`ve been doing a class in Meeting Christ in Prayer, and it`s an Ignatian spirituality, and for the last two weeks he`s been journaling his life,” says Sylvia, “I have all his work, all of the work he`s written over the last two weeks, it`s such a gift to me.”

Investigators says it appears that the lugnuts were sheared off, causing the wheel to come off the trailer. The driver of the pickup truck was not hurt and both drivers were wearing their seat belts.

“The person who caused the accident, I know that God forgives him, and I hope that he`s not grieving, and I just want him to know that I forgive him,” said Sylvia.

She adds that her husband is an organ donor.

Police are still investigating the accident to decide if any charges are warranted.