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Community holds candlelight vigil to remember Highlands Ranch seventh-grader killed at intersection

Alex Mackiewicz, 13, lost his life as he was crossing the street on his way to Mountain Ridge Middle School, according to his family.
Alex Mackiewicz candlelight vigil
Posted at 10:45 PM, Mar 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-08 11:58:10-05

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — The community came together Thursday evening for a candlelight vigil at the intersection where a Highlands Ranch seventh-grader was killed.

Surrounded by many of his classmates, the family of Alex Mackiewicz, 13, added large photos to a growing memorial at Venneford Ranch Road and Highlands Ranch Parkway. His family briefly spoke alongside those who gathered to remember the Mountain Ridge Middle School student.

"That's our wish of value for Alex's life, that we do something about this," said Alex's step-father, referring to changes to the intersection where he was killed.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office said the crash happened just before 7 a.m. Wednesday. Deputy Cocha Heyden, spokesperson for the sheriff's office, said the driver remained at the scene.

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Alex's mother vowed to be at the intersection every morning at 6:48 a.m. — the time her son lost his life while using the crosswalk.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is still investigating the crash.

From January 2021 to January 2024, there have been eight crashes at the intersection, according to the sheriff's office. None of them led to injuries. This was the first deadly crash.

"It's devastating. I mean, no parent should have to bury their child," said Diana Lujan, who stopped by Alex's memorial Thursday afternoon.

Neighbors said speeding along the 45 mph parkway is a major issue that needs to be addressed.

"Our community needs to get together and figure out how we're going to solve this problem because it can't happen again," said Lujan.

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