BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — It's been one year since Indiana University student Nate Stratton was hit and killed by an alleged drunk driver while riding a scooter in Bloomington.
Nate's friends organized an event on IU's campus to honor his memory, but his family said it was bittersweet, and even a year later, their heartbreak is overwhelming.
"Nate was the most important person to all of us. He was my best friend. I looked forward to a whole life with him," said Ceci Stratton, his sister.
It would have been Nate's senior year alongside his friends.
During the moment of silence, they reflected on his absence, cherished memories and a continued pursuit for justice.
"It's certainly a celebration of the impact he made on our lives, but it's also a memory there's still an ongoing court case. We really want to get justice for Nate and bringing everyone together to make sure that's on the forefront of people's minds is also the purpose of this," said Kodee Lewis, Nate's friend.
For Nate's family, it was also a way to reconnect to the people who meant so much to him.
"It's great to see his friends, but at the same time, it's people all his age that are still here with us living their lives. We don't get to see Nate doing that. It can be heart-wrenching as well," Ceci said.
Police said the driver who hit Nate last year was drunk.
Nate's parents said Kilroy's Sports Bar staff continued to serve Madelyn Howard, who was visibly intoxicated before the deadly crash.
His family is still waiting for Howard to be tried in court.
"Drunk driving absolutely gets overlooked by so many communities because it gets brushed under the rug. People are grief-stricken and frozen in their grief," Ceci said.
Howard's jury trial is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 26, 2024.