The Colorado State Patrol says a 20-year-old woman from Littleton failed to stop at an intersection and slammed in to the side of Cole's vehicle, killing him immediately. Authorities say she only suffered minor injuries and charges are pending following an investigation.
"He was amazing, he was a good kid," Terri Rhodes, Cole's mother, told 9NEWS. "With a huge heart."
From a very young age, Terri Rhodes says she knew her son had a talent.
"When he was 3 years old, he took his tricycle apart - every nut and screw and bolt," she said.
She knew he'd eventually become a mechanic.
"We never put it back together. Not even his dad knew how to," she said.
When he wasn't in the garage, she would find Cole working in the fields.
"He loved it. He loved it. He loved to work," she said.
He also loved the football field.
"It was always the sport he was playing," Terri Rhodes said.
Her loss is hard to put into words.
"He was my best friend," she said.
His brother Jace was always by his side.
"I never hugged him much, but if I could go back, I would hug him every day," Jace Rhodes said.
He wonders now what life will be like from here on out.
Terri Rhodes likes to think back to the early years - to Kindergarten.
"He was a momma's boy when he was little," she said.
"He would kill me if I told you this, but he cried the whole first semester, because he didn't want me to leave him. But I gave him an angel for his pocket and told him that he always had his guardian angel with him," Terri Rhodes said. "And one day I was taking him to school and he said, 'Mom, I forgot my angel.' He wanted me to turn around and get it. But I told him his angel is with him all the time, he doesn't need the little angel he puts in his pocket."
She says Cole is now her angel. To other parents she has advice: "Just hug your kid every time they leave the house."
She says you never know if it will be the last time you'll see your child.
"I know he's in a better place," she said.
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