LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Loved ones are coping with the sudden and tragic loss of a Colorado woman who died after being struck by a car in a gym parking lot in Lakewood earlier this week.
Family members said Katee Pearce, 36, was struck by a vehicle while she was leaving the 24 Hour Fitness gym and walking to her car in Lakewood on the afternoon of Monday, Mar. 6.
She was rushed to the hospital and died from her injuries on Wednesday.
“One minute, you know, we're at home, and we're enjoying our life, and you get this phone call," said Pearce's godfather Joe Soto, who has known her all her life. “It just devastates you. This was a tragic incident. She was just walking out of the gym. She was in the crosswalk. It just happened so quickly."
Lakewood police said it is still an active investigation and it's unclear what charges the driver will face.
“This is the hardest thing I've ever been through. We don't have our own children. So she was our daughter," Soto said.
Relatives describe Pearce as someone who was fun and charming. She loved people, her dog, horses and country music.
"Katee loved Colorado. She's a Colorado native. She grew up right down the street from Lakewood High School. She went to Lakewood High School. She was a prom queen, everybody just loved her" Soto said.
Her loved ones are hoping this will be a wake-up call to remind others about the importance of watching out for pedestrians and being careful in parking lots.
"If people would just slow down and be aware of their surroundings, you don't have to be in a rush," he said.
Even in her death, loved ones say Pearce continues helping others.
"She was an organ donor, and she had the walk of honor the other night at the hospital. That's the kind of person she was. Katee was that way," Soto said.
Her family said Pearce's organs will help save at least two other lives.
Friends and family plan to host a candlelight celebration of life at the 24 Hour Fitness in Lakewood off of Alameda on Saturday at 6 p.m.