TAMPA — Two parents held hands as they walked Thursday afternoon over the Harbour Island bridge, leading about relatives, friends and co-workers mourning where two young people died.
Roy Kohlier and Cindy Collins clutched white daisies in memory of Kate Kohlier, who died early Saturday along with Douglas Kozar after leaving work at the Marriott Waterside Hotel downtown. Police say a drunken driver hit them, and another man who survived, as they walked across the bridge.
Kate Kohlier was 24. Kozar was 23.
"Katie was our daisy," Roy Kohlier said. "She'll live in our hearts forever."
Roads were closed to allow a moment of silence in the middle of the bridge. Katie Kohlier's parents knelt on a bench next to the railing and threw daisies into the bay. Kate's stepfather was also there.
Her father said this should be a lesson about the dangers of drunken driving. "It kills not only lives but hopes, dream and spirits," Kohlier said.
Fellow employees hugged, cried and threw more white flowers into the water.
Then they slowly walked back across the bridge, past a pile of bouquets left by their friends. And they went back into the hotel where they'd come from a private memorial for Kate.