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Shocked Family, Friends Seek Answers After Pregnant Woman Dies In Freeway Explosion

WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) - Shock and sadness. That's the reaction from family and friends of a 23-year-old Ferndale woman who was killed in a fiery crash Tuesday on the Lodge Freeway.

Kayla White's father, Robert White, said he encountered the accident scene as he drove around looking for his daughter after receiving a call that she never arrived for work.

"The car was, you know, upside down...they wouldn't let me get near the car," he said. "But (it was) devastating. I was hoping that I'd see her on the side of the road with a flat tire is what I expected — not that."

Kayla White's co-workers at Andiamo in West Bloomfield are trying to come to grips with her death.

Amanda Saroki, who worked closed with White at the Italian restaurant where they were both hostesses, told WWJ Newsradio 950's Sandra McNeil she knew immediately that something was amiss when White didn't arrive on time.

Kayla White 2
Kayla White (Facebook Photo)

At only 4, feet 10 inches tall, Saroki said, "She might have been a tiny little person, but she had the heart and soul of many, many people put together. She was really special...I can't believe it."

White, who was pregnant, died trapped inside her burning SUV.

"She had, like, an old soul, and she was always happy, always smiling and very, very full of energy. (She was) a tremendous ball of energy, of life and extremely excited to meet her baby," Saroki said

Kayla White was due in December with a baby boy she'd named Brayden.

"She's just had her baby shower here last month; relatives came in from all over the state ... it's extremely depressing — I cried the whole night," Saroki said. "We wanna know what happened...How did that happen?"

Michigan State Police say the incident started as a chain reaction crash. An initial investigation revealed that traffic was slowing in the right lane of M-10 near Telegraph when the driver of a 2002 Cadillac, who police say "was not paying attention," as he struck White's 2003 Jeep Liberty.

The collision forced White's vehicle into a 2014 Nissan Cube, which then struck a 2015 Lincoln MKZ. The impact of that crash caused White's vehicle to overturn and catch fire; and, despite efforts by several Good Samaritans, was and unable to escape.

No other injuries were reported.

Police said  their investigation, which includes pending toxicology tests, will likely take months.

MORE:  Police: Woman Killed In Explosion On Lodge Freeway Was Pregnant
MORE:  Safety Of Vehicle Under Scrutiny After Pregnant Woman Dies In Freeway Explosion

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