The Jorrard Davis who stepped out of the cab of his 18-wheel rig onto Interstate 29 on Friday was buoyant with the great news he had received that day.
Within the hour of what became a fatal crash, the 38-year-old Kansas City man had shared phone messages with his cousin. Their plans were on. They were going to be driving oil trucks for Halliburton. The new jobs were waiting for them in El Reno, Okla.
The cousin, Antonio Davis, who was really like a younger brother at 33, tried to call him back sometime around 5 p.m. that day.
In his messages, Jorrard Davis had been "so excited," Antonio said. "We both were excited." Dreams of someday owning a truck together seemed more real than ever.
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Antonio kept waiting for his cousin to call him back.
The call that finally came was from family, and the news he heard is still unbelievable to Antonio Davis and their family of commercial vehicle drivers.
Kansas City police say a police car pulled Jorrard Davis' truck over in the southbound lanes near Barry Road because the door to his trailer had opened. Davis had gotten out of his truck when another semitrailer truck struck an unmarked police car in the lane next to Davis' truck and knocked the police car into Davis, killing him.
Now questions trouble the family of a man whom relatives described as "the glue" that held generations together, a "role model" of hard work to cousins and friends.
He was a father of three whose oldest daughter had just graduated from high school in the North Kansas City School District and is headed to college in August.
"Why was the second cop car blocking the second lane?" Antonio Davis said. "Why was it pulled up on the side of the truck?"
Jorrard "always paid attention to his surroundings," he said. Something wasn't done right, he said.
Police originally said the unmarked police car was trying to help slow traffic but updated its statement to say the unmarked car was not trying to help control traffic but was slowed down by heavy traffic.
Sunday afternoon, on the porch outside the Kansas City home where Jorrard Davis lived with his grandmother, relatives who drive commercial vehicles told of Davis' attention to the safety precautions they all understand.
"You always leave room for others," said his aunt, Tina Williams, who has been a school bus driver since 1986. "You are the professional. You see the big picture. You always leave an out. You use your mirrors."
They wonder whether the driver of the rig that struck the unmarked police car was distracted, said William Dodd, Davis' great-uncle, who drives cement mixers.
"You don't hit an emergency vehicle in the day without some kind of distraction," he said.
The crash investigation is ongoing, and the family waits to see what it will show. For now, they are left with the pain of his loss, they said.
"We are hurting all over," said his cousin, Yolanda Montgomery. "He worked every day. Every day. He was a role model for the other cousins. He kept them out of trouble. He taught them about job stability and taking care of family. He was the glue."
Jorrard Davis graduated from F.L. Schlagle High School in Kansas City, Kan., and went into the U.S. Army, then served as a corrections officer first in the Wyandotte County jail and then the Jackson County jail, his family said.
Then he became a truck driver and found a profession he thought was good for some of his cousins and friends.
"He'd been telling me for years to get into driving," Antonio Davis said. "Five years ago, I finally did. He's the reason I'm driving."
Now he struggles to set his mind to going to Oklahoma for the new job opportunity.
"I know he would want me to continue on," Antonio Davis said. "I would want the same for him. But it's hard knowing he's not coming with me. We were supposed to go together."