I-380 crash victim remembered by loved ones

Loved ones remember 28-year-old Jennifer Koenighain, who died in a car crash Monday night, January 29th, on I-380.

Steve Goedken and Jennifer Koenighain had been dating for a little over a year-and-a-half. They met each other their freshman year of high school and dated for a semester.

“I would always tell her to give me a real smile, because her real smile was the best,” said Steve Goedken. “I mean, I would've done anything to make her smile."

Koenighain was killed Monday night in a car crash on I-380. She was driving home from a coffee date with a friend when her car collided with another, 69-year-old Rob Norton Jr., who police say was driving on the wrong side of the interstate.

It was on Sunday, January 28th—a day before the accident—that the couple had decided on sharing a day to themselves. The couple spent the day at a spa in Iowa City, before going out to lunch and meeting a few friends.

“We stopped by Molly's Cupcakes in North Liberty--because she knows how much I love chocolate--so we got some cupcakes for dessert,” said Steve.

Jennifer and Steve lived together in Cedar Rapids with their two dogs, Blaze and Mika. She worked at Mercy Medical Center as a supervisor in the patients account department. Whenever the two weren’t at work or together, Jennifer could be found with her family.

“She talked to her mom on the phone every day. She went over to her parents' every weekend for coffee," said Steve.

When they were spending time with each other, they made sure to do what the other enjoyed. According to Steve, Jennifer learned how to play video games and board games for him.

“She loved taking pictures and stuff. She loved to read, too,” said Steve.

Jennifer was able to put her passion for reading and photography together during her years at Mount Mercy University. Though she was a public relations student, Jennifer worked for the Mount Mercy Times Student Newspaper. She won a few awards during her time with the paper, including third place for “Best Explanatory or Interpretive News Story” and for “Best Blog”.

"She brought in little things for us. There's a little set of Christmas lights on one of the computers and a little USB multiport,” said Joe Sheller, the Faculty Advisor at the Mount Mercy Times Student Newspaper.

Jennifer graduated from the school in 2012.

“She was not just any other student. She was an extraordinary young lady,” said Sheller.

It’s clear to see that he wasn’t the only person who felt that way.

"I loved her so much and her family loved her so much. And I know she loved me,” said Steve Goedken.

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