ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — The family of a Colorado mother who died in last week's storms said the 63-year-old woman was only three minutes away from home and screaming for help on the phone before her car was swept away.
Crystal Buckey was heading home on Watkins Road and E. 6th Avenue in Arapahoe County after running errands in Castle Rock last Wednesday night when she got caught in the bad storm.
"My dad was on the phone with my mom when it happened," Crystal Buckey's daughter, Sammy Buckey said. "She just said, 'Oh my gosh! It's raining so much and there's so much water.'"
Sammy Buckey said her mom was panicking and said her car lights had gone out.
"She said that she was being swept away. She was crying, yelling for my dad to come save her. So then the phone went out," the daughter said.
She said her dad and brother rushed to try to find her 63-year-old mother.
"He called 911 and got them to meet him there, and they just searched, but they didn't find her for another 12 hours," she explained.
The search efforts turned into a recovery mission on Thursday.
"My mom, she was a beautiful, wild woman," Sammy Buckey said.
Crystal Buckey had been taking care of her husband, who's been recovering from a staph infection and knee surgery for the past couple of months.
"This has devastated our family. I don't get to call my mom anymore. We just don't want that to happen to anybody else," Sammy Buckey said.
The family wants to work with Arapahoe County to see if there's anything that can be done to raise awareness and increase safety.
Crystal Buckey's children have also launched a GoFundMe to help support their dad and help pay for their mother's funeral costs.
"She loved so hard. She knew a lot of people," Sammy Buckey said. "She just is a wonderful woman. She's missed every damn day."