Mother of Highlands Ranch teen killed by driver working with state leaders to make change

Victoria Cegielski met with Governor Polis and other state leaders to push for new legislation after her son's death
Victoria Cegielski
Posted at 4:17 PM, Apr 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-15 08:02:05-04

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. – It’s been just over a month since 13-year-old Alex Mackiewicz was hit and killed by a driver while he was riding his one-wheel electric scooter to school in Highlands Ranch.

It happened just before 7 a.m. on March 6 when a driver struck and killed him as he was crossing the intersection of Venneford Ranch Road and Highlands Ranch Parkway.

Now, Alex’s mother, Victoria Cegielski, is working with state legislators to make a difference in her son’s honor.

"I can't change anything in my life, in my son's life, but I think it's going to save somebody in the long run,” she told Denver7.

victoria cegielski_mother of alexander mackiewicz.png

Local News

Family of 7th grader killed in Highlands Ranch pleads for harsher penalties

Óscar Contreras
4:16 PM, Mar 21, 2024

The driver accused of hitting Alex, Ruben Morones, 52, was arrested on March 13 in connection with his death.

He is accused of careless driving causing death, careless driving causing serious bodily injury to a vulnerable road user and failure to obey a traffic control signal. All which are misdemeanor charges.

Last week, Cegielski said she met with Governor Jared Polis, after he immediately responded to a letter her family sent him.

“After meeting with the Governor, I realize he is a strong supporter of the change for safety of people in Colorado. He is on my side to make people in the state feel safe and protected,” she told Denver7.

On Thursday, Cegielski met with State Senator Kevin Van Winkle (R) to discuss the possibility of two new bills.

One would be aimed at enhancing the charge for careless driving resulting in death — to a felony. The other would be aimed at helping improve safety in school zones.

“It's a travesty of justice. If someone dies, pedestrian dies and is killed by a driver, there should at least be a felony charge. Right now, it’s a careless driving charge that is basically a slap on the wrist -- $1,000, and maximum a year in jail, which may not even happen,” Senator Van Winkle (R) said.

Senator Van Winkle (R) told Denver7 he plans to be the bill’s prime sponsor, “I'm happy to do it. I'm working on it right now. We would enhance a careless driving charge, perhaps even look at the manslaughter charges, at least give district attorneys tools in their toolbox to be able to pursue proper justice for families,” he added

While it might be too late this legislative session, Van Winkle said the plan is to get something done by the end of the year or early next year.

A spokesperson with the Governor’s office sent Denver7 the following statement:

"Governor Polis had a meaningful meeting with the Mackiewicz family and appreciates the time they took to talk with him after the tragic loss of Alex. They are turning their tragedy into action and Governor Polis looks forward to continuing the conversation with them.”
Alex Mackiewicz sign.JPG
A new sign has been installed at the intersection of Highlands Ranch Parkway and Venneford Ranch Road, the site where Alex was killed.

“That's what I'm going to be fighting for because my son's name will be remembered while it's being repeated, and my son will be alive while he is remembered not just by me,” Cegielski added.

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.