The son of a woman killed by a suspected drunk driver in Lakeside Friday night is vowing to keep the memory of his mom alive, a mother he said had “the biggest heart” and always loved unconditionally.
"No matter where she is, she'll always be with me," said Travis Kennedy, 33, of El Cajon, through tears.
Lorraine Kennedy and her husband David Sandel were hit by a car while walking across the middle of the 12000 block of Woodside Avenue near La Palapa Mexican Restaurant Friday night, coming from a restaurant with their son and his girlfriend. The family had just had one of Lorraine's favorite cuisines, Mexican food. She was excited to be in town for Travis' daughter's birthday.
Kennedy said he first heard the driver of the car -- later identified by California Highway Patrol (CHP) investigators as 21-year-old Katie L. Ellison -- hanging out of the window, yelling something at them.
"I didn't quite hear what she was yelling, there was no headlights, nothing," Kennedy said.
Before he could figure out what was going on, he heard a sound, and his family was flying through the air.
"I was just trying to find my mom," Kennedy told NBC7. "And she was so far away."
Lorraine and David were taken to the hospital, where Lorraine was pronounced dead. David is still in critical condition.
Kennedy told NBC7 his mother had a big heart, was his best friend, and was even a little stubborn at times -- but always a kind. loving and caring woman and mother.
"Anyone that met my mom knew she had the biggest heart. It didn't matter who you were, didn't matter if she knew you," he said. "She was just that person. If you needed a hug, she'd give you a hug and wouldn't let go until she knew you were okay."
He said his mother could be hard on herself, but she always told him to be compassionate and remember he never know what another person could be going through.
"She just wanted everyone to be loving caring and cared about everyone," Kennedy said. "She was...compassionate, loving."
If he could tell her one last thing, he said, he would just tell her he loves her.
"Nothing more than I love you," Kennedy said. "She's so hard on herself, how she wasn't a good mom. She was very hard on herself."
CHP officials said the driver was hospitalized for a time but was released Saturday night and will be booked into Las Colinas Detention Facility. She will be charged with felony DUI and murder, and will be booked into Las Colinas Detention Facility.
When asked about the driver that killed his mother, Kennedy called about some of the compassion his mother had always taught him.
"We've all done stupid things in life and I'm not the one to judge. She has to face her own situation and answer to someone higher than I am," he said. "I dont have anger but I can't say I have compassion. It's kind of hard to say that. I don't feel anger."