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Memorial for bike accident victim held, parents speak

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Nov 06 2013 12:54:15 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 06 2013 01:18:32 AM CST
CHICO, Calif. -

The parents of a young Chico woman struck and killed while riding her bike speak out as a huge crowd packs a memorial service for their daughter.

20-year-old Butte College student Janee Nickerson was struck Friday night while riding her bike on East First Avenue near Oleander--she was declared dead the next day.

An active member of local church groups and a former swimmer for Chico High School, word of Janee's death spread quickly through the community and her parents were flooded with well wishes.

"I never knew that we would have the response, that Janee had touched so many lives. It was just amazing to me," says Janee's mother Loretta Nickerson.

Janee's father, Jon Nickerson, says hearing that his daughter influenced so many people had a big impact on him.

"And I think that's what made me most proud," he says.

On Tuesday night, more than a thousand people packed Neighborhood Church on Notre Dame Boulevard to say their goodbyes.

While Janee's life was cut short, friends say in the time she had she gave a lot and loved a lot and that the impact and influence of her actions still resonate.

Janee's parents say she loved everyone regardless of who they are and in what position of live they were in.

"That's infectious," says her father. "I think that's where we all need to be, outside our comfort zones. And I think that Janee's a testimony to that. And I think her peers and the rest of us, that's been a big lesson to us."

At her memorial, Janee's friends spoke of the lessons they learned from the life she lived, whether it was a tale of her accepting others on campus at Chico High or the message she spread on church missions to Mexico and Guatemala or just the offering of a simple smile.

And as an organ donor Janee is continuing to help numerous others live healthier lives, an act her mother says will allow her to live on through them.

"I feel like the light that Janee was, those parts will be in somebody else," she says. "They'll have Janee's light, they'll have a piece of her light and Janee will continue on."

As her parents continue to say goodbye, they do so with enormous support...support they call priceless.

"I don't know if the people realize how much we appreciate and how much we need the love and the support," says Loretta. "I don't know where we would be without it."

"(We're) so thankful that people have stepped forward and shared, shared their testimonies, shared their conversations, because it has put us at peace," says Jon. "We still miss her, we're going to miss her every day for the rest of our life."

The driver that struck Janee, 21-year-old Amanda McClintock, has not been found to be at fault for the collision.

She was arrested and charged with misdemeanor driving on a suspended license, and has since been release.