Chico State nursing students in Kristina Chesterman's class are speaking out about the kind of person she was.
Some of the words classmates used to describe Kristina: bright, bubbly, social, driven, mature, organized, and a beautiful person, inside and out. Today her classmates took a test that had been rescheduled, and it was obviously tough for them to not see Kristina sitting there beside them.
“She sits to my left every day and her chair was empty today, that was hard…really hard,” said Kayla Kriech, a nursing classmate of Kristina’s.
She considered Kristina her closest friend in the Chico State nursing program, and says they were well on their way to becoming "best" friends.
“When you think about your wedding in a few years, like bridesmaids, I definitely pictured her standing there with me,” Kriech said.
The realization that Kristina has passed hasn't set in yet; she still wants to wake up from this nightmare.
But perhaps the silver lining, if any, is that Kristina was happy, even after class last Friday.
“We just had a talk on life and love and it gives me a lot of strength in knowing she was happy where she was,” Kriech said.
Kriech says she herself has that natural maternal instinct, but Kristina was definitely a mother to her.
“She had these blue eyes and just stared into you and always with a smile, but never wanted to miss anything--she was a caretaker, she was the den mother,” said Molly Kralj, Kristina’s Clinical Instructor.
“She was a bright and shiny spirit. She would light up the room when she walked in. She was very passionate about becoming a nurse, and very excited about becoming a nurse,” said Sheri Palomea, another one of Kristina’s nursing classmates.
Jason Hall doesn't know much about Kristina, but he's familiar with the experience her family is going through.
Last December, his cousin and Chico State student Brandon Fisher, was hit by a drunk driver in almost the exact same spot on Nord Avenue. He drove up from Livermore today to pay his respects.
“Our family lived that pain, but we cannot imagine what that loss for their family is like. And it's just so sad, something has to change,” Hall said.
This is a brief excerpt of a statement sent out from Dave and Sandra Chesterman today.
"She was pursuing her dream of becoming a nurse and was well on her way to achieving that lifelong goal. She planned to spend the early years of her career as a nurse with the organization doctors without borders so she could help people in the poor and war-torn areas of the world receive needed care."
A Facebook memorial group has been set up to remember Kristina.