Loved ones gather by candlelight to celebrate the life of Megan Wheeler

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. -- People gathered to celebrate Megan Wheeler’s life Thursday night, just hours after the Cass County Sheriff's Office announced a man was booked into jail for leaving the scene of the hit-and-run crash that caused her death.

Wheeler, 32, was killed Saturday night a couple miles north of Harrisonville by a hit-and-run driver. Deputies say Cody Alford, 20, crashed his truck Tuesday and deputies were able to connect parts missing from his truck at that crash scene to ones they discovered near Wheeler’s body over the weekend.

Family provided photo of Megan Wheeler.

Family provided photo of Megan Wheeler.

Wheeler's friends had planned a vigil to bring attention to the case, but after the arrest, they decided to go forward with a Celebration of Life instead at City Park.

A mix-up left the dozens gathered without any overhead lights for the ceremony at the amphitheater. But in what they called true Megan form, the woman who they said was always a beam of light.

So they lit candles at the beginning of the service, and let the spirit of the woman who they called a constant beam of light in their lives, light the way for the crowd.

Stephanie Robbins presided over the service. Wheeler had asked her this month to officiate her wedding next year in front of the five children the couple shared from previous relationships.

“That’s what spurs me on this evening, that’s what’s holding me up this morning where I’m not a mess, is that I get to love on other people in her honor," Robbins said.