Nate Iler (left) with his then-girlfriend Laura McDermott (right)
Nate Iler was about to propose to his love Laura McDermott on Friday. They'd been together over two years. He got the blessing from her parents this summer. He had a plan. They were going to drive out to Ouray.
"She was a big traveler," Iler told 9NEWS Crime and Justice Reporter Anastasiya Bolton, "I believe that's the little mini-Swiss Alps. That had a little bit of meaning; it's just a beautiful place. With the fall coming around and she loved to look at the trees changing color, that would be a beautiful place. Got the ring, planned the trip, we just never quite made it there."
Denver Police say 32-year-old McDermott was hit and killed by 25-year-old Dennis Esquibel on Sept. 23 while crossing South Broadway at East Cedar Avenue at 1 a.m. Police say Esquibel did not stop at the scene. Iler was there.
Related Story: Sources: Fatal hit-and-run suspect arrested
He says they had not been out to that part of town in a while, and McDermott liked trying new restaurants. On Sept. 22, they went to check one out.
"We were leaving and saying goodbye to some friends, and I turned around to talk to my friend to ask him about a concert that was happening on Monday, she continued to walk across the street," Iler said. "I turned back and began to catch up, and I saw a car coming.
She was just steps in front of me. She was turning around, looking at us. I don't know what she was saying, probably 'Come on, let's go.' Thats not something I'd want anyone to ever witness again."
Iler says everything happened so fast. He saw the car, but not the driver who he says ran a red light, killing his future wife.
"I'm glad I was there. I'm glad I had that time with her," Iler said.
Denver Police found the car they think was involved in the crash on Sept. 26 in the area of Jason Street and Louisiana Avenue.
Sources tell 9NEWS Esquibel was arrested at 2 a.m. Thursday in his home. He was booked on a parole hold, vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident.
"I couldn't imagine going through life and impacting everyone's life the way that person has by taking her from all of us. There's a level of responsibility that I don't think I could continue living and not owning up to what I did," he said.
Funeral arrangements for McDermott are private, but Iler says if people want to help, she was passionate about a group called Outdoor Mindset.
"Outdoor Mindset unites and inspires people affected by neurological challenges through a common passion for the outdoors. OM accomplishes this through their free membership community, 1-on-1 connection and outdoor meet-up group programs," Iler emailed 9NEWS.
To learn more, please visit www.outdoormindset.org.
To contribute to OM's mission in memory of Laura McDermott:
Cash or Check:
4582 7th Street
Boulder, CO 80304
Please include a note mentioning Laura's name.
Online (Credit Card or eCheck)
Please follow the online donation with an email firstname.lastname@example.org mentioning Laura's name.
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