Just a month ago, Alexandera Bedel changed her profile picture to her face inside of a dinosaur cutout.
Friday morning, her profile was filled with messages saying goodbye. Friends, family members and classmates will remember Bedel as someone who always had a smile on her face.
The 19-year-old University of Nebraska-Lincoln English major was pronounced dead on arrival at the Creighton University Medical Center Friday morning.
Bedel, veered off a road in a Jeep Cherokee and hit a tree southeast of 72nd and Center Streets, in Omaha.
“The best thing about her was that she could be friends with anyone,” said Jennifer Hjelmstad, a former classmate.
Omaha Police said she was driving a 1998 Jeep around 3:45 a.m., when she drove off of the road between Oak and Spring Streets. She tried to get back on the road, but overcorrected and struck a large tree on the opposite side of the road near the Spring Acres Apartments. She wasn’t wearing a seatbelt at the time but police say excessive speed was not a factor in the crash.
Now, a small white cross reading, “Rest in peace Alex,” and a blue rose sit at the site of the crash. Only the tree’s torn bark shows what happened Friday morning.
Allison Wedige, a sophomore education major at Midland College, said she didn’t believe her brother when he said a former classmate had died.
“I just remember she would always stop me in the hallway and say hi,” Wedige said.
After meeting in their freshman gym class, the two became fast friends. Wedige said she always remembered seeing Bedel cheerleading or playing the drums at sporting events.
Joe Homan, a band instructor at Scutt, said he’d remember Alex through her passion for music and how she encouraged others to perform.
Friday morning, Wedige said she saw a report on the news of a teenager who died in a car accident. Later that day, her brother called her and told her it was Bedel who died.
After the pair went to different colleges, they remained in contact and would text frequently. But she said she regrets not being closer with her.
“This made me realize that you never know what will happen,” Wedige said. “Stay in contact with your friends after you go different places.”
Taylor Jonas, another former Scutt classmate, said she remembered Bedel would always stop by the TBCY she worked at and have a conversation with her.
“She could always brighten up a room,” Jonas said.
Sahra Kaboli-Nejad, another Scutt alumna said she was still “in a state of shock.” She said she will miss Bedel’s attitude toward life and her constant joy.
Rob Meyers, assistant principal of Skutt told the Omaha World-Herald Bedel was a member of the tennis team and of the school’s prevention council, which focuses on keeping students away from drugs and alcohol.
“It’s a sad day for us here at Skutt,” Meyers said. “She’ll certainly be missed.”
Bedel’s death brings the Nebraska road death toll to 86, which is three more than this time last year.
Police say an autopsy on Bedel’s body will be performed Saturday. The crash is still being investigated.