AURORA, Colo -- The mother of an Aurora teen who died after she was hit and dragged under a pickup truck in 2018 is calling for harsher penalties for careless driving.
“January 15 at 10:45 p.m. is when we lost her,” Melissa McKenzie said.
Two years ago, McKenzie’s life was forever changed when her daughter died. 16-year-old Victoria McKenzie was in high school at Smoky Hill in Aurora and was an aspiring nurse who tried to bring out the best in those around her.
“The laugh. Oh my God, her laugh was so contagious,” McKenzie said.
At 9:30 a.m. on January 11, 2018 police say Victoria was in the crosswalk on East Quincy on her way to school, when the driver of a truck turned onto South Buckley and hit her. She was trapped underneath and dragged for more than a mile. Witnesses told police they frantically tried to get the driver’s attention.
“He didn’t stop until he got home. He didn’t even realize she was under his truck,” McKenzie said.
The driver, Larry Fuller, said he remembers feeling a bump and told police he “saw what looked like a construction cone.”
McKenzie was still alive when paramedics got to the scene, but she died four days later from complications and septic shock.
“I got to tell her that I loved her and then they wheeled her away. We were not able to talk to her after that because they put her in an induced coma," McKenzie said.
Fuller was issued a citation for careless driving resulting in death. His license was suspended for a year, and he was required to do community service, and sentenced to a year of probation. He was not required to serve any time in jail.
“One year of losing a license, doesn’t seem fair to me. It doesn’t seem fair. I think they should serve time in jail. I think there needs to be more repercussions,” McKenzie said.
Now Victoria’s mother, is fighting for change. She’s created a petition on change.org calling for harsher penalties for drivers who hit and kill pedestrians.
“This is for everybody else who, God forbid, will end up one day being in this position. I fought for my daughter. My daughter is helping me fight for you,” McKenzie said.
So far, McKenzie has nearly three thousand signatures. But she only has until the end of the month to get enough signatures to prompt a response from the White House.