OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Nearly three years after a deadly hit and run, an Okaloosa County mother is honoring her son at the park where they shared a lot of memories.

Just days before what would have been Joshua Kreiser’s 47th Birthday, his mother Ida Kreiser, had a memorial bench put in at Liza Jackson Park in Fort Walton Beach.

“This is his birthday present, but at the same time, it’s for awareness for hit and run,” Kreiser said.

Joshua Kreiser was killed in a hit-and-run in December 2020 while walking across Highway 98.

After the accident, Ida Kreiser pushed for street lights to be installed in the area where her son was killed.

Her efforts paid off. She said FDOT installed more than 100 lights this year on Highway 98.

“Lighting is always a big benefit to reducing crime,” Fort Walton Beach Department police officer Robert Schohn said. “Also, to just light up the area so when we see these pedestrians crossing the road they’re not being struck by vehicles. It just helps with the awareness, and Miss Krieser had a big part in getting that done, along with FDOT.”

Every day, Ida Kreiser hopes to bring awareness to pedestrian safety.

“People need to not be on their phones,” she said. “They need to pay attention.”

She hopes the bench and all of her efforts will help carry on his memory. 

“He was all I had, and I don’t want him to be a statistic,” she said.