War re-enactor and historian killed in Aurora crash

AURORA, Colo. -- Family and friends have identified a man killed in a Saturday crash on Aurora Parkway as 32-year-old Malachi Springer.

Springer was well known for fully embracing a 1940's way of life.

In fact, friends describe him as a "soul trapped in the wrong era."

Malachi Springer was a historian and a war reenactor who looked like he had walked right out of the 1940's, not just on occasion, but every day of his life.

"They  just don't make them like that anymore and I feel like he came dropped to us from a time machine," said Celia Morrissey, a friend of Malachi's.

Celia Morrissey met Springer several years ago and quickly become one of his close friends. The vintage photographer often worked with Springer, photographing his many journeys into the past.

"He wanted to preserve history. He wanted to live it.  We used to call it getting drunk on history. I was photographing him once in a World War II bomber and he asked to have a few minutes alone. I left and I came back and he had tears in his eyes. He was putting himself in the shoes of these people who walked before us," said Morrissey.

Celia will now have to remember her friend in a very similar way.

Malachi was taken off life support Monday night, just two days after someone slammed into his stalled World War II vintage jeep on a street in Aurora.

"I've got a piece of the jeep in my car. It flipped over onto him and he was pinned under it for over 20 minutes," said Morrissey.

Malachi told FOX31 about that jeep 6 years ago, in 2012, when it was stolen. He described it as his portal into the past.

"Driving it around was my way of helping keep the education going, showing people these still do exist and I basically became a living museum," Springer said in 2012.

That living museum is now gone, part of the history he spent his life working to preserve.

"It's going to be very difficult without him. He left a mark on this world and he will not be forgotten," said Morrissey.