911 calls released from icy bridge fatality

Winter storm

Credit: WFAA

Rescue teams lifted a pickup truck from the icy waters of Lewisville Lake after it crashed over a guardrail on icy Interstate 35E on December 7, 2013. The driver was killed.



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Posted on December 11, 2013 at 7:50 PM

LEWISVILLE -- It was the most memorable scene from a miserable storm.

Now, we're hearing the 911 calls from when a driver went over a bridge during the ice storm and drowned in Lewisville Lake.

The call came in calmly, from an eyewitness who saw Kayla Gawalek's pickup truck veer off northbound Interstate-35 into the lake.

Caller: "I just watched a car go over the bridge."

Dispatcher: "What do you mean, over the bridge?"

Caller: "The truck went over the bridge."

It wasn't immediately clear to the caller if Gawalek had gone into a ditch or into the lake. But as first responders arrived, it was clear what they were dealing with.

Dispatcher: "It looks like the vehicle may have gone over the railing into the water."

Officers then quickly realized they needed to attempt a water rescue.

Officer: "Yeah, we’re going on the boat."

Gawalek's family says the I-35 bridge was too icy to be open that night. The words of an officer on the scene supports that driving conditions were dangerous.

Officer: "Can you contact the sand trucks. Have them hit this bridge again. Bunch of cars trying to go around but they’re spinning out."

Gawalek was set to resume studying nursing in January. Her funeral services are set for Thursday.

E-mail dschechter@wfaa.com