On March 22, 2007, Mesa State students Jacob Brock and Jennifer Kois were tragically killed after a drunk driver slammed into the back of their car. Exactly one year later, friends and family gather to remember them, and continue to fight to make sure no one else has to endure their pain.
"It's basically been an emotional roller coaster," said Peter Vonfeldt, Jennifer's step-father. "From one minute of being completely happy to the next being completely upset that we were just happy."
"You don't know what it's like to have loved and lost, until you truly have," said Vern Brock, Jacob's father.
That's how the families of Kois and Brock describe life exactly one year after the tragic accident that took the two away from them. Saturday, they along with friends and members of the community gathered at Mesa State to remember the pair and celebrate their lives.
During an emotional remembrance ceremony, friends and family spoke of what once was.
"I'll always remember her smile," said Vonfeldt.
They also spoke of what they hope will soon be.
"This was avoidable," said Brock. "It didn't have to happen."
Since the accident, both the Brock and Vonfeldt families have been working with state leaders to pass a felony DUI bill which would create harsher punishments for DUI drivers.
"We're definitely trying to move forward with something that will hopefully be in Jennifer and Jake's name," said Vonfeldt.
No such law currently exists in Colorado. The families if there had been one, Patrick Strawmatt may never have been out on the road the night he killed Jennifer and Jacob.
"I hope and I pray that we will be able to make that change," said Brock.
Both families say until a bill is passed, they're in it for the long haul.
"We intend in every way to be right there with the Vonfeldts to speak out at the State Capitol to support this bill," said Brock.
In the meantime, they say they remember the good times, remember how full of life and love Jennifer and Jacob were, and continue to live for them.