AURORA, Colo. -- It was Christmas night when Katie Paul and her boyfriend, Kyle Parker, left a family party and headed home on eastbound I-70. Just before the E-470 exit, a caravan going the wrong way on the highway struck Katie and Parker's truck head on, according to investigators. Katie was killed. The 86-year-old driver of the caravan and his wife also died.
Katie was just 24-years-old and leaves behind her two sisters, a brother and both parents. For the first time since the deadly crash, the family is speaking out in hopes their words can prevent another crash like the one Katie was involved in from ever happening again.
Her parents tell Denver7 they were behind Katie and Kyle's truck on the highway when the accident happened. Kyle was behind the wheel of the truck.
"There was a white SUV in front of Kyle and it all the sudden swerved, and all of a sudden we saw Kyle swerving and locking up his truck," said Katie's father, Mike Paul. "Next thing you know his whole front end went rear down and the back end went almost up to a 45 degree angle."
Mike had to slam on his brakes to avoid it all. He immediately got out to try and help.
"Mike tried so hard to get her out of the truck," said Katie's mother, Debbie Paul. "He tried so hard. We couldn't get her out. We could get Kyle out but we couldn't get her out. I prayed on the side of the highway that everybody would be okay. They weren't okay."
Katie died on impact. Mike was never able to get to her.
"As a father you witness your children being born," Mike explained through heavy tears. "You never dream of witnessing your child dying in front of you. That's the worst nightmare... what I live day in and day out."
"She was the most selfless person I think I've ever met in my entire life," said her older brother, Josh Paul. "I'm so grateful that she got to see me get married and she got to meet my children, but I'm so heartbroken that I'll never get to see her get married. I'll never get to see her walk down the aisle. I'll never get to see her be a mom and she would have been the best."
Josh wants to make sure other families don't have to endure the same. He says investigators believe the elderly couple in the caravan got onto the wrong side of I-70 at the E-470 interchange.
"I want some kind of change on that highway," he said. "There's a lot of road signs on that highway that say no left turn or wrong way, but the placement is in hard places to see and it's poorly lit. That off-ramp has minimal lighting. There's no flashing lights. There's nothing."
Denver7 reached out to the Colorado Department of Transportation regarding the signs at the E-470 interchange.
Spokeswoman Amy Ford said that in general CDOT "looks very closely at sufficient lighting and signage used to assist drivers," adding traffic teams will review the area where the accident happened.
If you want to make a donation to the family of Katie Paul, there is an account set up at Bellco Credit Union. To contribute, call your local branch and tell them you'd like to make a donation to the Katie Rose Paul estate.