Students help Dotsero family after tragic death |

Students help Dotsero family after tragic death

Matt Terrell
Vail, CO Colorado
Dolores Fernandez

GYPSUM, Colorado ” Students at Eagle Valley High School are rallying to raise money for a classmate and her sister who lost their mother in a traffic accident last Thursday.

Dolores Fernandez, 40, died after a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 70 in Edwards near Wilmore Lake. She leaves behind two daughters ” Carla Fernandez, 16, who attends Eagle Valley High School, and Alejandra Fernandez, 9, who attends Red Hill Elementary.

Carla and Alejandra have always lived with their mother, who was the only support they had, said Angelica Varela, one of Carla’s friends. They’ve been living in a small mobile home in Dotsero and aren’t sure now where they’ll go now that their mother is gone.

Students at Eagle Valley have raised, and donated out of their own pockets, more than $500 in just a couple days and are planning a fundraiser luncheon Sunday at the school. One of Carla’s classmates, Victor Varela, established a memorial fund for girls at Alpine Bank.

“It’s very, very awesome to see everyone cooperating and giving money,” Angelica Varela said. “They really need the money.”

Carla has always been quick to lend a helping hand herself, said Nicole Dewell, one of her teachers at Eagle Valley High School. After the death of six-year-old Miles May, a student at Red Hill Elementary, Dewell offered to baby-sit for families wanting to attend the funeral

“Carla was the first person to give up almost four hours on a Saturday to help. She also recruited two of her cousins to volunteer too. That’s the kind of young lady Carla is,” Dewell said.

Carla says her mother was a cheerful, happy woman who loved dancing, dressing up and helping other people.

“Now I’ve seen how many people really loved her, people have been calling me who I didn’t even know, my friends have been really supportive to me,” Fernandez said.

Carla’s little sister has been doing OK ” she’s having a hard time understanding everything that’s going on and just wants to move on, Fernandez said.

Nicole Wells, a senior at Eagle Valley High School, said her father died in a house fire in Grand Junction about a year ago and was saddened by Carla’s loss. She and her mother are donating money to the Fernandez family.

“We were left with kind of nothing, so we know how hard it is to go through, and we want to give a lot of support to the family,” Wells said. “I have a little brother, like she has a little sister, and it’s hard to stay strong. You have to live life to the fullest, because you never know when a family member will be gone.”

Funeral services for Dolores Fernandez will be at 4 p.m., Friday, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 215 Capitol in Eagle.’

If you’re interested in helping the Fernandez family, you can make a donation to the Dolores Fernandez Memorial Account at Alpine Bank, account number 3310119075.

There will also be a fundraiser luncheon at the Eagle Valley High School cafeteria on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The meal will cost $10 and will feature traditional Mexican dishes prepared by volunteering families.

Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 748-2955 or

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