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Pedestrian fatally struck by vehicle identified as Highlands Ranch seventh-grader

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Posted at 12:07 PM, Mar 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-11 12:39:40-04

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — A family member identified a pedestrian who was struck and killed at an intersection Wednesday morning as a Highlands Ranch seventh-grader.

"I am reaching out on behalf of my family in seeking your assistance during a time of unimaginable loss, heartache, and tragedy. My nephew, Alex Mackiewicz, a beloved 13-year-old boy with a bright future ahead of him, was tragically taken from us too soon when struck by a van while crossing the intersection of Venneford Ranch Road and Highlands Ranch Parkway in Highlands Ranch, CO, on his way to Mountain Ridge Middle School," Wendy Cegielski said in a GoFundMe post, verified by GoFundMe Regional Spokesperson Alex White.

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Traffic News

Pedestrian hit, killed at Highlands Ranch intersection Wednesday

Katie Parkins
7:34 AM, Mar 06, 2024

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

The pedestrian was identified as Alexander (Alex) Mackiewicz, a seventh-grader at Mountain Ridge Middle School. He was riding a OneWheel (a single-wheel electric skateboard) at the time of the crash.

"Alex journeyed to school that day brimming with the excitement and anticipation of his first baseball practice of the season. Alex loved baseball and was a great athlete, proudly batting and pitching lefty," Cegielski said.

The community held a vigil Thursday evening. Surrounded by many of his classmates, the boy's family added large photos to a growing memorial at the intersection.

In a letter to the school community, Principal Alison Shanor said Mackiewicz's passing is "a tragic loss for our community and our hearts go out to Alex’s family and friends." Shanor said school staff is available to support students as needed.

The full letter is below:

Dear Mountain Ridge Middle School Community:

I am deeply saddened to share that Alexander (Alex) Mackiewicz, a seventh-grader at our school, recently died. This is a tragic loss for our community and our hearts go out to Alex’s family and friends. The Mountain Ridge Middle School and Douglas County School District communities are saddened by this loss. Please keep Alex’s family in your thoughts.

During this period of sadness, you may notice a variety of reactions from your child. You may find them unusually talkative or quiet. They may ask a lot of questions, be anxious, or may want to be near you more than usual. You may also notice no reaction from them. Teens can experience a wide range of feelings and behaviors that are normal when dealing with this kind of tragedy. Any of these may be signs of the need for additional support.

As adults, you are the very best support system in meeting your child’s needs. You can provide the best explanation that fits with your values and beliefs, knowing that other families may share this information with their children, and informal discussions may take place between students. You may wish to have a family discussion to talk briefly about loss of life and to acknowledge any feelings that may surface. Knowing what to say to your child is often difficult. When no other words come to mind, a hug and acknowledging that this is a difficult time for everyone may provide comfort. If you need additional guidance in discussing this situation with your teen, please see the attached suggestions from our DCSD Crisis Team.

There is no right way to express the sadness, grief and confusion that students will feel when they encounter a tragedy. Students can be particularly vulnerable if this event reminds them about another loss or sadness in their own lives.

It is normal for a child to bring up the tragedy after it has happened and often when least expected. Our school staff is always available to support students as needed. Please let me know if you need additional resources or support.


Alison Shanor


Mountain Ridge Middle School

"The family now is facing financial challenges, with unexpected funeral costs and other expenses estimated by the sheriff's office at around $20,000," Cegielski said in the GoFundMe post.

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