Mother broken, ‘lost’ after crash killed daughter

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OLATHE, Kan. -- Charlie Kendricks had no way of knowing her words to her daughter, Tamiqua, Wednesday would be her last.

"I was going through her photographs the night before, just smiling and looking," Kendricks said. "I never knew I was going through them for her obituary."

According to Kansas Highway Patrol, Tamiqua was headed southbound on Interstate 35 near 167th Street Wednesday morning when she lost control of her car causing it to flip off the highway.

The 25-year-old wasn't wearing her seat belt and was thrown from the car, highway patrol said. Investigators believe she was reading a text message when it happened.

"Twenty-five years old is too... you're supposed to bury your parents, you're not supposed to be burying them."

"I want all these teenagers, even adults, to know seat belts are there for a reason. Those cell phones should be used... not while driving."

The news is still hard for the grieving mother to digest.

"It really hasn't sunk in yet," she said. "I don't think it's every going to. I kind of feel lost."

TamiquaTamiqua's best friend, Whitley Hume, said they graduated together from Olathe North, and it was impossible to not smile when they were together.

"She completed me," Hume said of the woman. "When I had problems with anything else, I knew I could call her and she would make me happy."

One person who is still all smiles is Tamiqua's son, four-year-old Michael Jace. The family said he doesn't yet understand that mommy isn't coming back.

"It's a senseless tragedy and now we gotta pick up the pieces," Kendricks said.

And they said they are starting with little Michael.

"She always told me if something were to happen to me, be there for my son. She did make me the Godmother of her son, so it's my responsibility to help him," Hume said.

"Every time he smiles, I see my daughter in him and that's a smile I'll forever hold on to."

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