SHERIDAN, Colo. -- Another young life has been lost after an accident involving a bicycle and a vehicle.
The latest victim, 11-year-old Aundrea Plunkett-Pearson, died at Denver Health Medical Center on Thursday after being struck by an SUV at the corner of West Girard Avenue and South Zuni Street on Sunday.
The accident came just two days after another fatal crash in Longmont involving an 8-year-old girl.
Both accidents are still under investigation, but both drivers stopped and cooperated with the investigations. No charges have been filed in either case.
According to the Sheridan Police Department, Aundrea crossed into the path of the SUV on her bike. The driver attempted to swerve to avoid her.
“She helped everybody that she was around,” said Ken Wilson, who helped Aundrea’s mother raise her for the past seven years.
Wilson said his help with parenting didn’t compare to the qualities Aundrea helped teach him.
“Aundrea taught me how to love more, be less judgmental, how to care and have patience,” Wilson said.
Wilson said Aundrea was practicing her own patience on Sunday afternoon after completing her chores.
“She wanted to go to the park to ride her bike where it was safe,” Wilson said.
Just before leaving for the park, as Wilson finished work behind the house, he said Aundrea got on her bike without her helmet and was likely turning around at the corner as she crossed into the path of the SUV.
“I told (the driver), ‘You’re at the corner of Zuni and Girard. Please call 911. My daughter is laying on the ground bleeding',” Wilson said.
Several days and surgeries later, she died in the hospital.
“I held her mother, while she held Aundrea as she passed,” Wilson said.
But even in death, they kept her legacy alive.
“Knowing how much of a caring little girl she is, (we) thought that she would want to donate any of her bodily organs if she could help somebody,” Wilson said.
Despite extensive injuries, Aundrea was able to donate her corneas and both kidneys.
“Her right kidney has been put in someone already and her left one, to the best of my knowledge, is on its way to the next recipient,” Wilson said.
Now, as her memorial grows, her family hopes they too can help.
“Slow down please, watch for that little child,” Wilson said.
They also have a message for parents.
“Be hard on them,” Wilson said. “Make sure that they know that roads are not safe. Roads are so, so, so dangerous, and to wear your helmet.”
The family is planning a special memorial for Aundrea.