AURORA, Colo. — Both the families of Katie Paul, and Gerald and Betty Arnett spoke to Denver7 about the accident that killed all three Christmas day along I-70 near the E470 exit.
They hope sharing their story is a way to hopefully create change and make it safer on that part of the highway, so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
Jeanette Witte and Kathy Barlow hold on tight to their parents’ memory.
“I gave him a big hug, and I said, 'I love you.' And he said, 'I love you more.' He used to always say that to everybody. [He] then drove away,” said Witte, as she recounted the last time she saw her parents on Christmas night.
Gerald Arnett, 86, and his wife, Betty, 96, were on the way home from Christmas dinner.
“I never imagined it would be the last time I’d get to kiss and hug my parents,” said Barlow.
Investigators say they drove the wrong way on I-70 near the E-470 exit, hitting Katie Paul and Kyle Parker’s truck head-on. Katie died on impact. Her boyfriend is recovering, and of course, just a little more than a month later, Katie’s family is still reeling from the pain.
“My heart breaks for all the families and everything that they are going through,” said Barlow.
Both families believe this could all have been prevented. It’s not the first accident on that same stretch of road, just recently a semi crashed.
“The signs are so little, and they’re not lit well at all. There are lights out up there, and I can see why everybody goes down the wrong way,” said Witte. “There are so many senseless deaths, it’s ridiculous. There has to be something done.”
Until then, the only comfort they find in all of this is that Betty and Gerald were together in their final moments.
“They were together, and even in their caskets we put together forever by little doves,” said Witte.
Denver7 has been in contact with the spokesperson at CDOT who said a traffic team is looking at this stretch of highway where so many accidents happen.
Barlow and Witte are looking for the person they were told comforted and prayed alongside Gerald as he passed that night at the scene of the accident. Anyone with information is asked to contact Jackie.firstname.lastname@example.org.