Teen dies following Highway 6 accident in Avon | VailDaily.com

Teen dies following Highway 6 accident in Avon

Karen Elizalde

AVON, Colorado – Karen Elizalde won’t be in Battle Mountain High School for her senior year.

Elizalde, 17, died Thursday night of injuries she suffered when she was struck by a pickup truck near her home in Avon.

Elizalde was on her way home after finishing her shift as the Marble Slab ice cream shop in Vail.

She dreamed of attending college, a career and a bright future.

“She had lots of plans,” family members said.

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Funeral plans are pending, family members said.

“She was a delightful student and pleasure to have in our school,” said Phil Qualman, Battle Mountain High School principal. “She was an important contributor to everything she was involved with. She will be greatly missed. Our deepest condolensces go to her family.”

The family is asking anyone who might have witnessed the accident to help provide information. They also need financial help, they said.

Elizalde has a younger sibling at Battle Mountain High School, and one at Avon Elementary.

This tragic loss will manifest in students and faculty in many different ways, Qualman said.

Among other things, the school has grief counselors ready to talk with kids and help them process this. The school observed a moment of silence at Friday night’s football game.

“It is our goal to remain strong for Karen’s family and help them through this tragic event,” Qualman said.

Elizalde had ridden an ECO Transit bus to the bus stop at the intersection of Beaver Creek Boulevard and U.S. Highway 6 in Avon. She appeared to walk into the path of the truck that was in the turning lane when she was struck, witnesses said.

There was no evidence that alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident, said a spokesman for the Colorado State Patrol.

The first witness calls for emergency help went out at 9:21 p.m., said a State Patrol spokesman.

The first emergency responder was on the scene in four minutes, and an ambulance was there less than one minute after that, witnesses said.

Elizalde was taken by ambulance to the Vail Valley Medical Center and later flown to a Denver hospital.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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