Vigil tonight for victims of car accident involving wrong-way driver on I-15

- Published: 13 July 2015
Vigil tonight for victims of car accident involving wrong-way driver on I-15

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Friends and family gathered at Taylorsville City Park tonight to remember the lives of Jake Martin and Kaela Hernandez, the two were killed on Wednesday after a wrong way driver collided with their vehicle.

Messages of "Rest in Paradise" and "Love You, Bestie," written on balloons. Tear filled eyes and hugs shared among friends and family of Jacob Martin and Kaela Hernandez - two friends who were inseparable.

"These two were the best of friends and it's such a tragedy.  But with all this, this is what's gonna get us through it, everybody that I hugged I felt a piece of Jacob," said Jacob's mother Julie Martin.  

A year ago Jacob walked down the aisle with Chantel and Laura Fernandez sharing a happy moment with their close friend. Today on their anniversary, they're gathered again, this time to celebrate his life.

"It's our anniversary and now we're here celebrating his life, the memories of him, every moment that he gave to us," said Laura Fernandez.

Jake, his brother Clint and Kaela were heading southbound on I-15 early Wednesday morning for a business convention. Police received calls of a Jeep Cherokee heading north on the I-15 southbound around 7:00 a.m. The Cherokee collided with their Honda a short while later. Jake and Kaela died upon impact. Jake was the driver and was restrained, Kaela was asleep in the back seat of the Honda and was ejected from the vehicle when it crashed. The passenger, Clint, was restrained and survived the accident. He is currently in the hospital recovering from his injuries. 

The driver of the Cherokee, 18-year-old Jessie Wilkerson, survived the crash but was pinned underneath her vehicle when police arrived. She was extricated and taken to the hospital, however, she died from her injuries the next day. 

Police say alcohol may have contributed to the crash as a bottle of alcohol was found behind the drivers seat of her vehicle.

Now with Kaela's husband, Eduardo, by her side her mother, Diana Walker, fights back tears when speaking of her daughter.

"She was always my angel and she'll always be my angel she was my best friend."

Friends say Jacob and Kaela wouldn't want anyone crying. But, they say they're crying tears of joy as they celebrate the fun and caring lives these to led.

"It sucks. This whole situation, but I guess there's a plan for everybody and everything," added Chantel Fernandez.

Now as the families try move forward, they take solace in the love from the community and are focusing on Clint's recovery.

"[Clint]he's so thankful because he's saying Jacob saved his life,he think the last second he kinda swerved out of the way, and the last time he looked at him he was just peaceful and then it happened." said Jacob and Clint's brother Aaron. 

According to the family, Clint was moved out of the ICU on Saturday and is recovering in a different section of the hospital. They say he has been seen up and walking around, and even dancing a little. Aaron, tells ABC 4, one of the first things Clint asked was for the condition of the driver in the other vehicle. Aaron says when he learned she too had died, he began to cry. 

Aaron, says Clint does not hold anger towards the driver of the other vehicle and says he and Jacob wouldn't want anyone else to have hatred towards her either.