Remembering Kaitlyn, a 16-year-old killed by an impaired driver

“If people just stop and make better choices [on the roads]. It's not just a life lost it's what it does to everybody behind that life; family and friends."

Posted: May 2, 2018 7:26 AM
Updated: May 2, 2018 7:28 AM

FILLMORE CO., Minn. – Kevin and Georgeanne Hansen want the world to know what kind of person their daughter Kaitlyn was.

"So much of what she did, she did to try to get herself out there, meet new people,” Kevin Hansen explains.
"She was your friend you just hadn't met her yet. She was everybody's friend,” adds Georgeanne Hansen.

It’s not just the happy memories they choose to share, it’s the painful ones too.

On January 28th, 2016 Kaitlyn Hansen was killed by an impaired driver who crossed the center line of Hwy 52 in Fillmore County. The driver was traveling 85-95 mph and hit Kaitlyn’s car head-on. Kaitlyn was just 16 years old.

The Hansens like to say their daughter made the most of her short 16 years of life, but she should have had more. Her parents should have had more. Instead one person who made the choice to get behind the wheel while impaired robbed them of that time.

"Sixteen is way too young to go and it's left a big hole in a lot of people's lives by losing her," Kevin says.

Even after two years, it hasn’t gotten much easier for the Hansens to rehash what happened on January 28th, 2016. But they continue to do so to not only honor their daughter’s memory, but to educate people on the dangers of distracted and impaired driving in hopes that it saves lives.

"Kaitlyn's loss of life was completely unnecessary,” Kevin says. “If people just stop and make better choices [on the roads]. It's not just a life lost it's what it does to everybody behind that life; family and friends," he adds.

Besides asking people to make better choices behind the wheel, they also hope more people consider becoming organ donors, like Kaitlyn was.

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