A 19-year-old woman who died in an Omaha crash was upset and talking on her cellphone before her car veered off the road and hit a tree.
Alex Bedel was driving south on 70th Street near West Center Road about 3:45 a.m. Friday.
Chris Gice of Lincoln, her close friend and former boyfriend, said he was on the phone with her right before the crash.
Gice, 22, said Alex called him. She had just left a friend's house and was heading to another friend's apartment. She had been mediating a fight between some of her friends.
“I was trying to calm her down,” he said. “I told her to focus on the road.”
Then the call dropped. Gice called back, but he got no answer.
Bedel's 1998 white Jeep Cherokee went off the road to the right, between Oak and Spring Streets, police said. She overcorrected and struck a large tree on the grounds of the Spring Acres Apartments.
The only occupant of the Jeep, she wasn't wearing a seat belt, police said, and excessive speed did not appear to be a factor in the crash. Bedel was pronounced dead at Creighton University Medical Center.
Her mother, Beverly Bedel of Omaha, said she last talked to her daughter about 12:30 a.m. Friday. She said Alex had been comforting a friend who recently broke up with her boyfriend. Alex wanted to cheer her up.
Beverly Bedel had plans to go to breakfast with her daughter Friday morning before she returned to Lincoln.
“She was a fun-loving, caring, beautiful girl,” she said. “She loved life. She loved people. She loved animals. She was kind to everyone and never liked to rock the boat.”
Alex Bedel graduated from Skutt Catholic High School in 2011 and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She was considering pursuing a career in law or psychology. Her father, who died in 2000, had been a lawyer.
Beverly Bedel said Alex enjoyed volunteering at a Catholic Charities of Omaha domestic violence shelter and the Humane Society in Lincoln. She also worked at Chez Hay Catering in Lincoln.
Gice said Alex had a passion for music. She had a drum set, he said, and was planning on forming a band. Alex enjoyed going to shows and had many musically talented friends.
“She meant a lot me and to a lot of people,” Gice said. “She was selfless and she had the biggest smile in the room.”
At Skutt, Alex played tennis and was in the school band. She was a member of the school's prevention council, which focuses on keeping students away from drugs and alcohol, said Rob Meyers, assistant principal.
Joe Homan, one of Alex's former Skutt teachers, posted this on Alex's Facebook wall: “She made so many friends in band, she helped me recruit more band members, and she made band more enjoyable for everyone. I will never forget her contributions she made to the band program.”
World-Herald staff writer Jay Withrow contributed to this report.
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