Castle Rock community members are coming together to support the families of four teens involved in a head-on car wreck around midnight Aug. 5.
A man in a Toyota Forerunner crossed into oncoming traffic and struck a Honda pick-up truck head-on while heading north on an Interstate-25 frontage road near mile marker 179. The driver of the Toyota, identified as Ricky Avalos-Trujillo, 25, sustained minimal injuries and was arrested at the scene for vehicular homicide. Authorities suspect Avalos-Trujillo was driving while under the influence.
Two of the 17-year-old passengers in the Honda, Colton Bellamy and Audrey Todd, died in the accident. The unidentified Honda driver and another passenger, Maddy Tobler, 17, were both taken to area hospitals for moderate to severe injuries.
Bellamy and Todd were upcoming seniors at Castle View High School. Castle View Principal Jeena Templeton sent an email to the school community sharing counseling resources for students and addressing the loss of the two seniors, according to KDVR.
“Dear Castle View High Family:
I am deeply saddened to share that Colton Bellamy and Audrey Todd, twelfth-graders at our school, recently died. This is a tragic loss and our hearts go out to Colton and Audrey’s families and friends. The Castle View High School and Douglas County School District communities are saddened by these losses. Please keep Colton and Audrey’s families in your thoughts.
The DCSD Crisis Team will be available to connect with students or staff who may need extra support. The team will be at Castle View High School on Monday, Aug. 8 and Tuesday, Aug. 9 during normal school hours.
In light of these sad circumstances, we will be adjusting our schedules this week. Please look for a follow up communication from us with those details later this weekend.
During this period of sadness, you may notice a variety of reactions from your child. You may find your child unusually talkative or quiet. Your child may ask a lot of questions, be anxious, or may want to be near you more than usual. You may also notice no reaction from your child. Teens can experience a wide range of feelings and behaviors that are normal when dealing with this kind of tragedy. Any of these may be signs of the need for a little extra support.
As parents, you are the very best support system in meeting your child’s needs. You can provide the best explanation that fits with your values and beliefs, knowing that other parents may share this information with their children, and informal discussions may take place between students. You may wish to have a family discussion to talk briefly about loss of life and to acknowledge any feelings that may surface. Knowing what to say to your child is often difficult. When no other words come to mind, a hug and acknowledging that this is a difficult time for everyone may provide comfort. If you need additional guidance in discussing this situation with your child, please see the attached suggestions from our DCSD Crisis Team.
Feelings can be especially overwhelming at a time like this. There is no right way to express the sadness, grief and confusion that students will feel when they encounter a tragedy. For example, students may react by needing more sleep, or being more emotional. On the other hand, a student may not react outwardly at all. Students can be particularly vulnerable if this event reminds them about another loss or sadness in their own lives.
Expect that resolving the feelings related to this tragedy may take your child some time. It is normal for a child to bring up the tragedy after it has happened and often when least expected. Our school staff is always available to support students as needed. Please let me know if you need additional resources or support.
- Jenna Templeton, ED.D., Principal at Castle View High School"
GoFundMe fundraisers have been started to support Todd’s family and Tobler’s medical expenses.
Almost $30,000 has been raised for the Todd family. On the GoFundMe page, Kim Todd, Audrey’s mother, wrote that her daughter’s death is “unfair and it’s devastating.”
“Words can not express the depth of my loss, confusion and the heartache I'm feeling. I've lost my baby girl, my beautiful, intelligent daughter and my best friend,” Kim wrote. “I know Audrey would want me to reach out to each and everyone of you to let you know she is not in any pain and is in the loving arms of our Lord and who has wiped every tear from her eyes.”
For Tobler’s medical expenses and recovery, over $48,000 has been raised.
Additionally, the Dads of Castle Rock is hosting a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 14 at Castle View High School, with all of the proceeds going to the affected families. The group is matching up to $10,000 in donations.
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