Archive for Wednesday, May 17, 2000

Aftermath claims girl’s life

May 17, 2000

Kaela Humburg's family thought her aunt's covered front porch would be the safest spot for the 4-year-old Friday morning as cleanup began after Thursday's storm.

Apparently, it wasn't.

The Lawrence girl was killed after the porch pulled loose from her aunt and uncle's Tonganoxie home and collapsed on her. The accident occurred as Kaela's mother and grandfather stepped on the roof of the porch to steady them as they removed tree limbs from the roof of the house.

"I guess she had run back under to get back on the swing," Kaela's aunt, Niki Mills said.

It's likely that the pretty little girl with bright blue eyes was killed instantly. Kaela's mother, Branda Lewandowski, and her grandfather, Gene Lewandowski, Tonganoxie, received minor injuries in the fall.

"She was a beautiful girl," said her aunt Niki Mills. "She was so smart she could count to 30. When we'd come up to a stop sign, she would say S-T-O-P, stop. She could type her name on a computer."

Her favorite colors were purple and pink.

"She loved her Barbies," Mills said.

Kaela loved her younger brother, Nathaniel, who is nearly seven months old.

"She was the best big sister anybody could have ever asked for," her mother, Branda Lewandowski said. "She was never jealous."

Kaela's mother said she wanted to thank everyone who helped her family after Kaela's accident.

"We're thankful for all they did and all their prayers," she said. "There were tons of people who were praying. I want to thank them for their prayers because I know she heard them. That's the only thing that gave me the strength to get to the hospital. I feel sorry for the rescuers that that is the image everybody has in their head. It was just horrible."

The little girl was taken by Life Flight helicopter to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. Her mother donated some of her organs.

"Hopefully, that will save other families from having to feel the way her father and I do," her mother said.

Kaela's obituary is in the obituary section.

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