‘Oh, no, not again:’ Mother shares painful reminder of son

Local News

Iowa State Troopers say Kathryn Burkhead, 31, died Sunday while trying to get away from a trooper Sunday afternoon in Davenport.

The fatal crash happened around 4:30 p.m. at Wisconsin Avenue and West Kimberly Road.

Troopers say they tried to stop Burkhead on Interstate 80, but she kept driving onto Interstate 280, then got off at Kimberly Road.

Authorities say Burkhead, who died at the scene, lost control and was hit by a Jeep driven by Emilie Heggen, 22, of Iowa City. Heggen was taken to a local hospital with unknown injuries.

A mother’s memory

The crash brought back a painful memory for a Rock Island woman.

Her son, Kendall Schmook, was one of three people killed in a crash in that same spot back in August. He and a friend were killed when police say Dylan Marquardt ran a stop sign.

Both cars slid into a ditch and burst into flames.

As Local 4’s Ryan Risky reports, Schmook’s mother happened to be in the area at the time of the latest crash.

“My heart went in my throat just because of the thought of ‘Oh, no, not again,'” Michelle Schmook said.

It’s an intersection that haunts her, because her son was killed there nearly three moths ago at the intersection.

“Kendall was very much involved with our family,” she said. “He was my strength. He was my everything. And I was trying to figure out how to live again.”

But the terrible memories came crashing back when she drove by the scene Sunday night. She coming home from a housewarming for a friend of Kendall’s.

“I was coming up and I saw just the whole road full of emergency lights and the first responders, the police,” she said. “It was just lit up like a Christmas tree because the sun was going down – it was kind of dark.”

“It took me back. It was very nerve-wracking to see and the first thought was ‘Oh, no. Not again.'”

Schmook is still trying to adjust to life without Kendall. She visits the crash site about once a week.

“To go there, I don’t necessarily always have a bad feeling,” she said. “I can go and talk with my son and there’s probably many times that people see this crazy lady standing on the side of the road, which is me talking to my son and just thinking about the whole experience.”

Schmook says after this latest crash she thinks that intersection needs something more than a stop sign.

“I just think that with traffic lights it would get more visibility to that intersection because there’s a slope. There’s a hill. There’s a curve. There’s vegetation around there. I mean, it’s just not a clear path.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.