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Child riding electric scooter who died following crash in Arvada identified by school officials

Arvada Police Department
Posted at 1:30 PM, Sep 19, 2022

ARVADA, Colo. – A child who died following a crash with a vehicle as he rode an electric scooter in Arvada Saturday evening was identified by school officials on Monday.

Austin Lobato, 10, was riding an electric scooter when the crash occurred at around 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The crash happened on Candelas Parkway near the intersection with Indiana Street, according to police. The child was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead the next morning.

Denver7 spoke with the distraught family Monday, who said Austin had gone to have dinner with some friends not too far from home and told his parents over the phone that he'd be home soon, but never came back.

Chad Lobato, the boy's father, said his wife came outside to check on their son but heard sirens instead.

"There's never sirens around here. She knew instantly," Lobato said, recounting the scene Austin's mother found as paramedics loaded the boy into an ambulance to take him to the hospital. "Everybody's asking what they could do for us. It's not what you could do for us. [People] need to hold their loved ones, they need to tell them, 'I love you.' You never know when the last one is the last one. You don't get another chance to do it."

Neighbors in the area Denver7 spoke with on Monday raised concerns about the intersection where the crash occurred, calling it a "highly dangerous intersection."

"Just coming through this particular intersection is always very dangerous," said neighbor Eric Brickle, whose been riding his bike through those streets for more than ten years. "It is just, it's fast. And it's the one spot where I'm really super careful on my bike."

Arvada police were at the scene to collect more evidence on Monday. An officer who spoke with Denver7 urged drivers to pay attention on the road.

From their part, Arvada officials said they have received a "high volume of questions and concerns from the community since the accident" but would not be making a statement about possible changes to the intersection where the crash happened while the accident investigation is ongoing.

"Once the accident investigation is concluded, the City will undertake a traffic engineering review. After these steps are complete, we will share findings and possible recommendations with the community regarding the intersection design. It is important that we allow a thorough process to be completed before implementing changes," city officials said.

In a letter to families, teachers and staff, Three Creeks Elementary School Principal Megan Madsen wrote Lobato was a “beloved student and friend in our Three Creeks community” who had been at the school since Kindergarten.

“Austin was well liked by his classmates and our entire staff. This tragedy has shaken our Three Creeks community and we know that this loss is deeply impacting many students and families,” Madsen said.

The principal wrote that besides using the services of the school and district mental health teams, the school plans on holding supportive classroom meetings as well provide individual and small group grief support on Tuesday and in the days ahead.

Any family whose child may benefit from additional support can call 303-982-1140 and the school will arrange for a mental health team member to check in with them.

The driver of the vehicle involved in the crash stayed on scene and was not injured, police said. The department is investigating to determine whether any charges will be filed.

Austin's extended family has started a GoFundMe to help cover medical and funeral expenses.