Posted: Sep 16, 2013 6:57 PM by Manuel Bojorquez - CBS News
Updated: Sep 16, 2013 6:58 PM
(CBS News) Flood survivors in Colorado are remembering close friends Wesley Quinlan and his girlfriend Wiyanna Nelson who were killed in the disaster.
At a candlelight vigil, family and friends shared stories about the pair. Among them was Emily Briggs. She and her boyfriend, Nathan Jennings, were in the car with the couple along a road when a torrent of mud and water slammed into them. Briggs said, "Wesley died a hero. He would have jumped in the water if it were me or Nathan or any single person here."
Jennings recalled, "Wesley just grabbed each of us and looked in our faces and just said, 'We have to get out of this car.' ... And me and Wesley and Wiyanna all were sort of shimmying along the side of the car and before I knew it all of our feet were swept out from under us and we started travelling in different directions."
Briggs was still in the car. She says Wiyanna was the first to be swept away.
Briggs said, "Wesley screamed her name and dove into water after her and he saved her and he grabbed her and he got her up and then the current was just too much -- it was going 50 miles per hour and they all just got swept away. (Wesley) did everything he could, and he would have done the same for me and Nathan because he was just that selfless of a person."
A firefighter rescued Jennings downstream - three hours later, Briggs was rescued from the car.
Briggs said, "I know that Wesley forever shaped me as person and changed my life. He taught me how to be comfortable with myself .... I love him so much, and I love her so much, too."
Briggs and Jennings said they can't believe they're alive. Jennings said, "I don't believe it every time I wake up now."
Briggs added, "It's just devastating to know I'll never see them smile again, and I'll never hold their hand or kiss their cheek again."