An 11-year old Sheridan girl has died, four days after being struck by an SUV while riding a bicycle near her home.
“She was just a special angel,” said Ken Wilson, the victim’s stepfather. “Oh my God, she made you smile.”
Wilson said Aundrea Plunkett was riding her bike on West Girard Avenue Sunday afternoon. Police said she entered the intersection at South Zuni just as the SUV was driving by.
“It looks, from the initial investigation and the evidence at the scene, that he (the SUV driver) did make an attempt to brake and swerve,” said Sheridan Police Chief Mark Campbell.
When asked if speed was a factor, Campbell said it didn’t appear to be, but added that the investigation is still underway.
Wilson told Denver7 that Aundrea was a caring soul who cared about others.
“She’d have me pull over on the side of the road if she saw somebody who was hungry or who looked like they needed help,” he said. “She just wanted to help others.”
Wilson said he didn’t see the accident, but did hear it. “I came running out,” he said.
The stepfather praised doctors at Denver Health for trying to save Aundrea.
“They did all they could,” he said.
Wilson noted that his stepdaughter had pulled through two surgeries, “but she had so many injuries.”
He said that late Wednesday night, her brain began hemorrhaging. She died early Thursday morning.
Wilson said he and Aundrea’s mom made the difficult decision to donate the girl’s kidneys, corneas and heart valves to others.
The stepfather said one kidney is already helping someone else and that the other is on its way to another recipient.
The family hopes Aundrea’s corneas will go to a young child who can’t yet see his or her parents.
A YouCaring fund has been set up to help the family, initially with hospital bills and now with a memorial.
Wilson said a vigil will be held on Memorial Day beginning at noon near the intersection where the accident happened, at West Girard and South Zuni.