Friends, family hold vigil for Army veteran killed in Westminster crash

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- Friends and family paid a heart-wrenching tribute Sunday to the man who died after colliding with a Westminster police cruiser last week.

About 100 people gathered at Westminster City Park on Sunday night to remember and celebrate the life of Travis Wood.

“It helps to remember him, to show that he meant something to so many people and that he was loved and he will be missed,” said Wood’s brother-in-law Adam Santistevan.

Wood died in a car crash with a Westminster police officer early Thursday morning near 88th Avenue and Federal Boulevard.

Police said the officer, who was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, was responding to an emergency call when the crash happened. The initial investigation indicates the officer's lights and sirens were on as he was crossing the intersection.

Photos of Travis Wood displayed at Sunday's vigil.
Photos of Travis Wood displayed at Sunday's vigil.

Wood, a U.S. Army veteran, was just 24 years old. He leaves behind a fiance, Julie Santistevan, and a 2-month-old son with Downs syndrome.

“When I found out that he died I thought it was a joke,” Julie Santistevan said through tears during the vigil. “I looked on the news and I seen my car. I seen our car. And when I seen that, it hit me. The person I love the most is gone. And I can’t bring him back.”

The group shared stories, said prayers and lit candles to honor Wood.

“I love him so much and I fell in love with him so quick and he made me the happiest person. We had so many happy memories together and the best memory I have is that little boy who’s not going to have a father,” Julie Santistevan said.

“We’re all going to miss him,” Adam Santistevan said.

Now, the best thing they can do is try to remember the happy times to keep Wood’s memory alive. Friends describe him as goofy and kind-hearted with a lot to live for.

It will be up to the friends and family that Wood leaves behind to tell his little boy, also named Travis, who his dad was.

“I’m really glad that he did name him after him because, hopefully, little baby Travis grows up to be just like his dad,” Adam Santistevan said.

Wood was from Texas, where he will be buried. Julie Santistevan and their son need help getting to Texas for the funeral. Friends have set up a GoFundMe account to help cover the costs.

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