Kansas City wrong-way crash victim remembered as God-loving mother

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Family identified the woman killed in a near-head on collision Saturday morning on Swope Parkway as Ife Pedersen, 44.

Pedersen, an Independence mother of three, had a morning routine.

“From 6:30 to 6:50, she reads the Bible and she drinks her coffee in the same spot every morning. By 7:02 she’d be in her car right there,” Carl Gregg, her husband described.

Her husband said she’d usually call once she arrived in the Country Club Plaza area where she worked as a caregiver, until she had to head inside at 8 a.m. But Saturday, the only call he got was from police.

Witnesses say a 62-year-old in a Ford Explorer heading east on Swope Parkway near Benton Boulevard crossed over the median, striking Pedersen nearly head-on in her Jeep Patriot. Police were called to the scene around 7:52 a.m. Saturday.

“They had to cut her out, it’s your worst nightmare,” Gregg said.

The other driver was hospitalized, Pedersen was killed. She leaves behind three children age 14 to 24.

“She was soft she was pure, she was beautiful she was just sweet, she was just a good person,” Gregg said.

Her husband says the woman whose name Ife means “love” also left behind a foundation in which they are trying to find strength in now, with so many questions about why that other driver crossed the median unanswered.

“She was my rock man, she was a strong person,” Gregg said.

Her Bible remains left open at home to the underlined passage she was reading moments before her untimely death.

“There’s no doubt in my mind she is with him, and she’s not sad. But we are sad, because it’s a great loss,” cousin Joanna Pedersen said.

Kansas City Police say the investigation will likely take several weeks. Meanwhile the family says they are struggling with unexpected expenses related to Pedersen’s death. A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family with funeral expenses and additional support needed for her children.

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