MUSKOGEE, Oklahoma - On the anniversary of the crash, Donovan Caldwell’s family and friends held a candlelight vigil and balloon release to remember Donovan and his friends who died.

Monday’s vigil was filled with tears, laughter, and, of course, stories.

Those who knew him say it was a time to remember Donovan for his humor, friendly demeanor, and caring heart.

Donovan’s mother smiled as she remembered the good times she had with her son.

“When we went to sea World, it was really nice and it was really neat,” said Mary Caldwell.  “Donovan, he was the only one on the screen and he had a blast.”

“Donovan was the best person I’ve ever met,” said his friend Alexis Morse.  “He never judged anyone.  He was everyone’s friend.”

He and four other NSU students were killed last September when the pickup they were in went through a guardrail, drove off a bridge, and went into a creek in Cherokee County.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said unsafe speed on a curve and wet road conditions led to the crash.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation is overseeing the work that is being done to make that stretch of road safer.

In the meantime, Donovan’s family and friends continue to pray and remember the five lives lost.

“My heart goes out to the families.  I wish we could meet up with them sometime.  I’m just so overwhelmed,” said Caldwell.  “I know they are feeling overwhelmed, too.”

“I pray for their families,” said Morse.  “We’re not the only family gathering today.”

Reconstruction of the bridge where the students crashed is expected to be finished in late 2018 or early 2019.