By Beth Dodd
Woodland Park High School sophomore Kevin McDonald of Divide was killed in a tragic auto accident early on the morning of Friday, February 1.
The accident took place on U.S. Highway 24 just west of Woodland Park in front of the Pikes Peak Regional Hospital a little after 7:00 a.m. According to a statement made by Sgt. J.R. Mullins of the Colorado State Patrol, the McDonald family’s car collided with another vehicle that was making a left turn into the hospital. The McDonald’s car then crashed into a light pole and an electrical box.
McDonald was transported to the hospital where he died soon after the accident. He had been riding to school with his older brother and younger sister. The other McDonald siblings, also WPHS students, were taken to the hospital as well, but sustained only minor injuries. The driver of the second car, a 60 year old woman, also had minor injuries. As of Friday evening, no charges had been filed against her.
Woodland Park Mayor David Turley and officials from Woodland Park High School both issued statements expressing sadness about the event. The loss has hit the WPHS community very hard. Students there still have fresh memories of the deaths of their three classmates who perished in an auto accident on the way home from a scouting trip in Wyoming in June 2012.
The high school staff personally visited students in their classrooms on Friday to notify them of the accident. The school is offering grief counseling to anyone who needs to talk, and offered counseling at the school library over the weekend to those who wanted it. There are also plans for a speaker from Pikes Peak Hospice to visit the school on Thursday to advise students, parents, and staff on how to cope with their grief.
An impromptu memorial for Mc Donald has been growing on the side of U.S. 24 at the site of the accident, including notes, flowers, and even Broncos football memorabilia. People from the community have also been using social media like Facebook to offer their condolences to McDonald’s family and friends.