Fatal bike accident victim’s bucket list inspires thousands: “she didn’t get to do this, we wanted to complete it for her.”
A fatal bike accident victim has inspired thousands to complete her bucket list: “because she didn’t get to do this, we wanted to complete it for her.”
Kristina Chesterman, a 21-year-old nursing student attending Chico State University, biked home from the library around 11 p.m last September. She was less than one block from her home when the fatal bike accident occurred. A drunk driver struck her with a 2009 GMC Envoy. She was carried about 120 feet, and her bicycle traveled another 210 feet before it dislodged from the car. The driver continued down the road after the fatal bike accident and hit two parked cars before stopping.
The promising second year student had been riding in the bike lane when 19-year-old Riley Hoover crashed into her. Officers responded to the scene of the fatal bike accident as dispatchers received further calls about a driver striking a parked vehicle while entering an apartment complex about a third of a mile away. Police responded to that scene and discovered that vehicle damage and missing parts found at the crash scene connected Hoover to the fatal bike accident. He was arrested at 11.21pm on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and felony driving under the influence causing serious injury or death.
Chesterman was left brain dead after the bike accident. Her parents decided to donate Kristina’s organs. They said it was what she would have wanted.
“She was the best. She would have made the most amazing nurse — she was caring, loving and a hard worker,” said Kristina’s classmate, Rachael Nuno.
This was the second time her family had to deal with one of their children being injured in Chico that year.
A few months before the fatal bike accident, Kristina’s brother Daniel Chesterman, 19, was visiting her at Chico State when he was attacked near 9th and Hazel Streets. Police learned Freeman had tweeted about the attack writing “I literally collapsed half of someone’s face last night #newsoftheday.” That led to his arrest and a no contest plea to battery. Daniel Chesterman had a slow recovery from his injuries. He has had several surgeries and four plates were placed in his head to repair the damage from the February attack.
The Chesterman family was shattered after Kristina’s fatal bike accident and their year of tragedy. They did not know how they were going to go on with their life. Then one day Kristina’s mother found a list that changed everything.
“I opened up a drawer and I found just this make-up bag,” says her mom Sandra told CBS news.
Sandra says there was no make-up. Instead, in that zippered compartment, she found a single sheet of notebook paper: Kristina’s bucket list.
“I mean what kid writes a bucket list? There’s not many,” says Sandra.
Kristina probably wrote it in high school, years before the fatal bike accident.
She wanted to tour Niagara Falls. Save someone’s life, which she did that, many times over,” she says. “By donating her organs, she saved lives. This next one makes me laugh. She wanted to break up a fight between two guys over her, which I think is so cute. And I don’t know that it ever happened, but it should have.”
When Sandra and her husband David found the list, they say they knew exactly what they had to do.
“Because she didn’t get to do this, we wanted to complete it for her,” says David.
Just a few weeks ago, the two visited Niagra Falls, checking that item off Kristina’s list.
But, Sandra and David told CBS that the best part is they aren’t the only ones living out their daughter’s dreams. After their story spread on social media, thousands of strangers have started doing so as well, posting their journeys to the “Remembering Kristina Chesterman” Facebook page.
“I think that it is just amazing that she could have that effect on someone who never even know her,” David said.
On Wednesday, her mother turned to the page and recounted the horrific events of the fatal bike accident that took place 10 months ago, saying she remembers “sitting on Kristina’s bed holding her hand and begging her to open her eyes.”
“In my own mind, I like to think that she just had too much that she needed to accomplish and she couldn’t do it on her own. She wanted to make this world a better place and she wanted to make people be less selfish and more selfless, like she was. Maybe God knew it would happen if she was up there in Heaven, guiding people and lighting the path for all of us.
This is the reason we tell her story. We NEED to make the changes that she would have made. WE need to make HER proud, just as she made us proud.”