BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU)- A community leader for Benton Charter Township is being remembered by co-workers after his life was cut short in a freak accident while working along Interstate 94.
His co-workers spoke out Thursday, fighting back tears as they remembered someone who meant so much to the Benton Harbor area.
"The world lost a great man yesterday afternoon" Treasurer Debbie Boothby said.
Kevin White, 48, who was a Michigan Department of Transpiration employee as well as Benton Charter Township supervisor, was killed Wednesday while doing his job along I-94. A tire from a semitrailer hauling cars hit him. He later died at the hospital.
White meant a lot to the community.
"He was loyal, he was a friend to everyone, he was very strong and he was a dedicated leader to our community,” Boothby said.
"He was a resident, he was a friend, he was a confidant,” said Cherry Mesa, who works in the assessor’s department.
He was a local boy and a graduate of Benton Harbor High School.
"It’s not just Benton Charter Township, but it's Benton Harbor altogether will miss him,” Mesa said.
"This was his town," Boothby added.
As an MDOT employee, Kevin's job came with risk.
"I was very, very concerned. I never dreamed, I never dreamed for one minute that this would happen, but it did,” Boothby said.
Barely 24 hours after White's death, co-workers, who are also his friends, try to cope.
"I don't think we're dealing with it, personally, not well at all,” Boothby said. "The day-to-day operations are going to continue to run, but I don't think any of us are ever going to be the same.”
They move on, but they remember.
"He was well liked and respected in the community,” Benton Charter Township Clerk Carolyn Phillips said.
"I see him as a big heart, just a big heart,” Mesa added.
"God makes no mistakes,” said Tammy Taylor, an administrative assistant.
"Kevin will never be replaced, he will never be forgotten, and we thank him for the service that he gave to our community,” Boothby said.
White leaves behind a family. His co-workers say they send their condolences.
White was elected to township supervisor in 2016. He was a trustee before that.
The accident remains under investigation.