OROVILLE, Calif. - The parents of 20-year-old Butte College student Kim Orozco are remembering the life of their daughter who was killed in a wrong-way crash on Monday in which DUI is suspected.
In Oroville Wednesday, Kim's father, Raul, says her loss is, "just like a hole in our hearts." Her mother called the last two days, "not good," with tears welling up in her eyes.
Kim died Monday night after the car she was riding in with her boyfriend, Darius Bucur, crashed head-on with a wrong-way driver on Highway 70 in south Oroville.
Raul said the couple had been together for three years with plans in the future for marriage.
"But they wanted to go to school and finish so they could have a career," he said.
Bucur survived the crash and was listed in fair condition at Enloe Medical Center Wednesday.
The driver of the other car, Douglas Sapp of Marysville, died at the scene. The CHP said Sapp was driving the wrong-way on the highway and caused the crash. Sapp is also suspected of DUI.
"You hear about drunk drivers in other people but you never think it's going to affect your family," said Annette Orozco.
When asked what other people might learn from the incident she replied, "That it hurts. That it does affect everybody. And you should stop playing games with it."
For now, the Orozco family, Kim's two brothers included, have rallied around each other for support. Friends and family have also flocked to their side.
They are remembering Kim by listening to the beautiful music she played as a concert level pianist. Her mother, Annette, suggests she had Juilliard level talent.
Wednesday evening they gathered on the front lawn where her brother Daniel found inspiration by reading aloud from a poem Kim had written years ago.
Similarly, her father read a passage from a Christian text that speaks to what the family is going through now. They are also finding solace in their faith.
They continue to sift through the memories of Kim.
The dedicated student was earning straight A's at Butte College, on her way to becoming a registered dietician.
She also spent time with her mother volunteering for a horse rescue in the Oroville area.
"We got good and dirty," Annette says with a laugh.
The work earned Kim a lot of quality time with her mother, but Annette says it also earned her a special gift.
"The owner, or the young people that operated it, allowed Kimmy to add up time and then they said she could have her own horse. I don't know if you saw the picture or not but that's one of the happiest pictures," she said.
But now it is only pictures that remain, along with the memories.
"My Kimmy," Raul said, when asked what he would remember most about his daughter, "her beautiful smile, her kindness, and her love for her mom and me and her brothers."
The Orozco's are just beginning to move on. They are working on plans for a memorial service to help them and others share memories and say goodbye.
As for Kim's boyfriend, Darius, he is expected to be released from the hospital on Friday and will have a chance to say his goodbyes as well.
Kim Orozco's service is scheduled for Sunday at 3:00 p.m. at the Oroville Seventh-Day Adventist Church.
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