LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Nevada State Police Department held a special event Friday night to honor the lives lost on Nevada roads in 2022.
“This candlelight vigil,” Greg Johnson said of his late daughter. “I feel is for her.”
Gregory and his wife Alexaundra told 8 News Now the vigil offered closure for them six months after 18-year-old Katarina was killed in a suspected DUI crash in September on U.S. 95 near Boulder City.
“You see all these families here,” Greg Johnson said. “Everyone has someone that has been impacted by this and it sucks.”
‘Kat’ is one of 382 people who died on roads across the state last year, with 71 of those deadly crashes happening in Southern Nevada.
“This is an opportunity for us to heal,” Nevada State Trooper Ashlee Wellman told 8 News Now of the vigil. “And mourn with our community members.”
Trooper Wellman said events like the vigil are important to help families suffering know they are not alone, while also raising awareness on the issues of impaired driving.
She also shared more about Nevada State Police’s mission to prevent the worst from happening.
“That’s a human being, that’s a life.” Trooper Wellman said. “That’s someone’s father, son, daughter, mother, and they are no longer coming home to them.”
The Johnsons told 8 News Now they were touched to see such solidarity for their late child.
“A lot of people came out to support Kat,” Greg said. “And it’s completely awesome.”
They hope their efforts to speak out can also prevent these types of tragedies.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s one or 100,” Greg concluded. “It’s one too many.”
Families of those killed were also able to meet with troopers and investigators working on their cases after the vigil ended on Friday.