ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. – A driver suspected of hitting and killing a 2-year-old boy in Adams County and then leaving the scene Monday has come forward.
Troopers said Tuesday morning that the driver was speaking to the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) and was cooperating with their investigation. The suspect told CSP officials he thought he'd hit an animal in Adams County Monday night, but he saw the news story about the 2-year-old online and “did the right thing,” troopers posted on Twitter.
On Tuesday evening, Colorado State Patrol named the driver as George Currie, 67, but did not say he had been charged -- only that the investigation was ongoing and that Currie was cooperating.
CSP troopers responded to the area of 156th and Lipan around 8 p.m. Monday. The young boy, identified Tuesday by family members as 2-year-old Tenzin Chokzin, was rushed to St. Anthony’s Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
CSP spokesperson Sgt. Rob Madden says the boy had wandered outside and into the street without clothes on, looking for his grandmother while his mother was preparing a bath. CSP said Tuesday afternoon that Currie was westbound on 156th, and that Chokzin entered the road from the north.
According to Madden, the suspect said he stopped about 50 yards after impact, thinking he'd hit an animal. He noted minor damage to the front of the car, but told authorities he didn't see the child and left the scene.
But sometime afterward, he contacted 911 after learning a child had been hit in the area he believed he'd hit an animal.
According to Madden, it's possible Currie could be charged with failing to stop and render aid, if it were to become apparent he was aware the collision had occurred.
Tuesday afternoon, the boy's family identified him as Tenzin Chokzin, and issued a letter through neighbors saying they forgive the driver for the "accident." The letter is embedded below and reads as follows:
My wife Tashi Dolma and I, Konchok Tenzin, parent of our beloved son Tenzin Chokzin who passed away last night in a tragic car accident, want to share a few words.
My youngest son Tenzin Chokzin, our dearest one is my best friend and as this loss is unbearable, it gives us an opportunity practice compassion and understand that we are only here for a moment.
As a Buddhist family, we forgive the person responsible for our great loss. Please keep our young son in your prayers. Finally, I urge all to be careful when driving.
Parents, Konchok Tenzin and Tashi Dolma
A friend of the family has also started a GoFundMe page for the family.