AURORA, Colo. -- A grieving Aurora mother is searching for answers after her teenage daughter was hit and dragged by a pickup truck while walking to school.
Victoria McKenzie, 16, was on her way to Smoky Hill High School when she was hit at East Quincy Avenue and South Buckley Road in Aurora on the morning of Jan. 11.
The driver told the Aurora Police Department that he had no idea the girl was under his truck, according to witnesses.
“It’s surreal,” said McKenzie's mom, Melissa McKenzie. “When you hear something like that -- it’s just surreal.”
Witnesses said they franticly tried to get the driver’s attention while McKenzie was being dragged.
Melissa McKenzie said the driver didn’t realize her daughter was under the truck until after pulling into his driveway about a mile from where the girl was struck.
The teen was awake and talking before being taken to a hospital, according to police. She had broken ribs and other internal injuries, according to Melissa McKenzie.
“Mom, am I going to be OK,” Melissa McKenzie said her daughter asked her at the hospital. “And the last thing I said to her while she was still awake was, ‘Yeah, baby, you’re going to be fine.’”
Victoria McKenzie died from septic shock four days after the crash, on Jan. 15.
Her classmates at Smoky Hill High School said the loss has been difficult to accept. Melissa McKenzie said the death came as a surprise because Victoria seemed to be improving.
The family is working with police on a criminal investigation while also considering a lawsuit against the driver.
Police said they do not suspect drugs or alcohol played a part in the crash. Speed does not appear to be a factor, according to police.
The driver of the truck has a valid license and auto insurance. He is cooperating with the investigation, according to police.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family.