DUI Victim Was Trying to Find Cure for Cancer

By Tony Shin
|  Saturday, Dec 19, 2009  |  Updated 8:04 AM PDT
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Purton Memorial Service

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Purton Memorial Service

Jared's parents flew from Australia, to bring his body back home.
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It was an emotional farewell at La Jolla Shores as hundreds of people gathered to remember Scripps Researcher Jared Purton.

"Jared was loving, intelligent and kind hearted," said the victim's girlfriend Silvia Kang.

The two had plans to get engaged next year. 

"I lost my best friend, my future," said Kang as she sobbed in front of Purton's friends and family Friday.

On Sunday, 33-year-old Purton was driving home from work when he was killed by a suspected drunk driver. Prosecutors say he was rear ended by a car driven by Michael Landri who allegedly had a blood alcohol level twice the legal limit.

"To understand why this is happening is angering and futile," Kang said about the crash.

The anger is shared by Purton's parents who flew from Australia to bring his body back home. 

"We miss you forever beautiful boy," cried Purton's mother Chris.

Purton moved to San Diego six years ago to work at Scripps Research Institute.  He worked in the immunology lab experimenting with vaccines. He was trying to help find a cure for cancer.

Landri is charged with D.U.I. and gross vehicular manslaughter.

His mother said her son was "deeply sorry for what happened."

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