LEWISVILLE Family members confirm that 21-year-old Kayla Gawalek died early Saturday when the pickup truck she was driving veered off the northbound bridge of Interstate 35E and into icy Lewisville Lake.
Gawalek lived in Lewisville with her family. She was on her way to work Saturday at Labinal in Denton, a company that does wiring for the aerospace industry.
Because of the weather, Gawalek told her sister she would leave extra early to be at work by 5 a.m., but shortly before 4 o'clock she crossed the bridge and flipped over the guardrail and into the water.
At that time, the bridge was already very iced over.
Lewisville Fire Department divers, working in 50-degree water, located the wreckage and a crane was used to lift the truck out of the water with Gawalek still inside.
Gawalek's mother, Isabel Martinez Gawalek, said she wishes her daughter had not had to go into work, and that the bridge had been closed in those dangerous conditions.
'I wish they would do something whenever this kind of weather occurs for them to be more cautious or to think there's going to be an accident,' she said, fighting back tears. 'Don't wait until it happens... do something about it. Now she's gone. She's gone. I didn't get to say goodbye to her.'
Kayla Gawalek was set to resume studying nursing at North Central Texas College in January. Her funeral services are set for Thursday.