Family clings to memories of Olathe mom suddenly taken from them in fatal crash

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OLATHE, Kan. -- "I wanted to have more time with her. I don't know. It's just so hard because she was my baby," a crying Pam Rice said about her daughter, 44-year-old Tina Bokay.

Last Friday afternoon the Olathe mom was killed in a two car crash.

"It's just a nightmare. We lost our daughter. We lost our only child," said Bill Rice as he fought back tears during an interview from his home Tuesday with FOX 4's Robert Townsend.

"Tina was always happy just about all the time. She loved her kids. She loved life. She was a good, people person," Bill continued.

The Rices say they last talked to their daughter on Thursday. They say an upbeat Tina was excited about starting a new job and moving her and her 5-year-old son into a new home in Gardner, Kan.

"She was real excited. She kept texting me about it all last week. She was planning on getting her stuff out of storage, getting to see all her things and not live out of a box and a bag. Dusty was gonna have his own room," said Pam.

"She also was looking forward to coming here with Dusty and visiting us for the weekend," added Bill.

Unfortunately, Tina never got a chance to start her new life. Investigators with the Johnson County Sheriff's Office say around 4:30 Friday afternoon, Tina drove southbound along Old 56 Highway near 151st Street, lost control of her vehicle, crossed over into the northbound lanes and hit a pickup head on.

Tina, a mother of five, suffered a severe blow to her head after being thrown from her car and died instantly. Tina's kids range from five to 24 years old.

"Her daughters are having a real hard time, especially her 13-year-old, who has just stopped talking right now. She misses her mother dearly, " said a weeping Pam Rice.

"She was just so closed to her kids. She loved them so much," said Bill.

Relatives say Tina's son, Dusty, who has autism, suffered bruises, broke a tooth and was in the hospital for several days.

"So maybe it was the airbag that hurt him. I just don't know, but the investigators said he was in a car seat that was not the right size. It was too small and if he had been in the right size, they say he would've been dead, so thank God for that," said Pam.

Now, the Rices hold on to the good memories, shower their hurting grandkids with lots of love and face life one day at a time, without Tina.

"When all this is over, we'll all probably sit down and have a good cry," said Bill.

Meantime, a viewing service for Bokay will be held on Friday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Church of Christ at 7222 S. Macguire (HWY 13) in Warrensburg, Mo.