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Bloomington vigil held to remember student killed in hit and run

Two of Nate Stratton’s best friends organized the vigil on campus.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind — A vigil for 20-year-old Nate Stratton Thursday gave many a chance to celebrate their friend, classmate, brother and son, whose warm smile impacted everyone he met.   

Two of Stratton's best friends organized the vigil on Indiana University’s campus.

“I only knew Nate for two years and I would’ve wished for a lifetime more,” said one of Stratton's friends, Quinn Smith. 

“There is going to be a hole in my heart for the rest of my life,” said another friend, Aidan Gonzalez. 

Last weekend, Stratton was riding an electric scooter back to his apartment on the Indiana University campus when, police say, an alleged drunk driver swerved, struck and killed him.   

According to the crash report, 22-year-old Madelyn Howard drove into a bike path. She continued driving and dragged Stratton's scooter underneath her car. 

RELATED: 'He’s the greatest kid ever, and he’s gone' | Family of IU student killed in crash share heartbreak

It’s a tragedy that has left his family outraged and heartbroken.  

“This loss is a wound that I and many here will never truly heal from,” said Stratton's sister, Ceci.

Credit: WTHR/Lauren Kostiuk

Ceci said she not only lost a brother, but also a best friend. 

“I can never properly express what it meant to be a sister to my brother, and I wish I could live the hundreds of lives that he touched if it meant learning just a little bit more about him,” she said.  

To Nate’s friends, they say he was always their biggest supporter and motivator.  

“If you wanted to do something, Nate would tell you to go get it. Nate would check in on how you were doing. He was always genuine,” Smith said.  

RELATED: IU student riding electric scooter killed in hit-and-run; driver arrested for OWI

Stratton also made a lot of plans with his friends, something they plan to continue in his memory.  

“I think a big part of that is doing the things he wanted to do, even if he can’t be here to do them with me,” Gonzalez said.  

To honor his kind soul and positivity, his family read a special challenge at the vigil for everyone who knew him.  

Credit: WTHR/Lauren Kostiuk

“I want you to be better than you think you are. You can do more than you think you can, and please know that you are loved more than you know, just like Nate,” said Brad Stratton, Nate’s father.  

Nate’s family also started a fundraiser to help with research for Type 1 diabetes, which Nate was diagnosed with at 16. So far, they have raised more than $30,000.

Howard will be in court Friday for her first hearing. She is charged with reckless homicide, leaving the scene of an accident and causing death while driving under the influence.

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