Girl On Bike Struck By SUV Dies On Thanksgiving

9-Year-Old Was Hit While Riding In Bike Lane

A 9-year-old Fort Collins girl has died of injuries suffered when she was struck by a sport utility vehicle while riding her bicycle.

Erica Forney was on her bike in a residential area in the southwest part of the city about 3:50 p.m. Tuesday when a 2003 Ford Expedition drifted into the bicycle lane and hit her, police said.

Authorities say the woman driving the SUV -- 36-year-old Michelle Smith -- was talking on her cell phone just before the collision.

Erica was not wearing a helmet and sustained a serious head injury, police said.

The girl was rushed to the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland and later flown to The Children's Hospital in Aurora, where she had been listed in critical condition on life support. She died about 9:10 p.m. Thursday.

Charges are pending against Smith. Police will talk with the Larimer County District Attorney's Office on Monday to recommend a charge of careless driving resulting in death, a traffic misdemeanor, said Officer Drew Jurkofsky.

Erica lived about two houses away from where she was hit, the Coloradoan reported. The incident occured on Avondale Road, near Ramah Drive in south Fort Collins.

Erica was a fourth-grader at Coyote Ridge Elementary School in the Thompson School District.

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