Mother works to make 1 year anniversary of son’s death positive with family, friends


by Maggie Ruper

Posted on June 26, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 26 at 11:41 PM

(WHAS11) -- Family and friends of Ben Koier gathered in the 14000 block of Taylorsville Rd. on Tuesday to remember the teen that was killed after being hit head on by a drunk driver one year ago.

The crash site was just a few miles from the family home in Fisherville. Ben’s mom, Lisa Schardein, said her son was coming from a friend’s house and should have been home around 11:30 p.m. She recalled the moment she got the news when the coroner came to her door at 4:40 a.m.

“When those words came out of his mouth I just pleaded with him to tell me that it wasn't true,” Schardein said.

Schardein said she was determined to turn the painful anniversary of his death into something positive. So, dozens of those who knew Ben stood on the side of the road with signs in remembrance of him to bring awareness to the dangers of drinking and driving.

“Ben was a much loved young man, and his parents are loved and just a lot of people want to show they care for him,” Nick Ising said.

Ben’s girlfriend also stood at the crash site. They started dating their freshmen year at Western Kentucky University.

“He sends me countless signs that he is with me, and I thank him for that because it helps,” Shelby Vincent said.

Schardein finds comfort in a photo that was taken of her and Ben the night he died and the last words she said to her son were “I love you.”

“We had this little thing that we did. He would say, ‘I love you more,’ and I would say, ‘I love you infinity,’” Schardein said.

The infinity symbol is now a sign of Ben for his family and friends.

The drunk driver also died in the crash. Schardein said they never found out where she was coming from or going. It’s a piece of the puzzle investigators couldn’t figure out even with phone records and credit card receipts.