Update: The driver who struck and killed sixteen-year-old Centaurus High School junior Brooke Brunsvold late Monday will not face charges in the terrible incident -- because Brunsvold, making a late-night visit to a boyfriend, was crossing U.S. 287 against the light. Meanwhile, a Facebook group has sprung up to celebrate Brooke's life in advance of her memorial service and burial. Details below.
According to the Boulder Daily Camera, Brunsvold snuck out of her house to visit her boyfriend, who worked at a nearby McDonald's. She was on her way back when she was hit. But the unidentified driver appears to have been traveling at the legal speed and was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Hence, the definition of a tragic accident.
The loss is keenly felt on RIP Brooke Brunsvold -- In Loving Memory, which shares plenty of memories and expressions of grief like these:
I love you Brooke. I always will.... I miss you. I'm sorry I had to be a part of your death
Just 2 short months ago Brooke sat with us around the camp fire laughing and telling stories, playing washers til' all hours of the night. She had a smile that could light up the room. Brooke you will be missed!!! She's rocking her chucks up above!!!
Brooke you will be missed. I didn't talk to you everyday but the little hello from you when I saw you was enough to make an impact on my life. Its the little things like that we take for granted in life. You are a wonderful girl. I wish I would have talked to you this year as much as I did last year. Rest in peace Brooke. You will always have a place in my heart.
Also shared is this photo of a candlelight vigil on Tuesday evening:
Here are the details about services for Brunsvold:
Viewing for family and friends: Monday, September 17, 2012 5 to 8 PM Howe's Mortuary 1701 West South Boulder Road Lafayette, CO 80026
Viewing prior to memorial service for friends and family: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 10 AM Flatirons Church 355 West South Boulder Road Lafayette, CO 80026
Memorial Service: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 11 AM Flatirons Church 355 West South Boulder Road Lafayette, CO 80026
Burial immediately following the service: Coal Creek Cemetery Colorado 42 Louisville, CO
Continue reading for our previous coverage. Original post, 6:36 a.m. September 12: The tragic death of Brooke Brunsvold, who was struck by a car Monday night near a McDonald's on Highway 287 in Lafayette, has been shattering for students and teachers at Centaurus High School, where she was a much-liked junior. As for her mother, the emotions she shares in a Facebook post reveal love and pain in equal measure.
Brunsvold's mom writes that Brunsvold "decided to sneak out of the house and walk to Walmart.... She was hit by a car and after two hours of surg she died." She adds that she didn't know her daughter had left the house so late until she was awakened by the coroner's office at 3 a.m.
"I can't believe I have to bury my first born!!" she declares, in a lamentation that will produce profound empathy in any parent, including this one.
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The sorrow at Centaurus is equally fierce. In an e-mail to parents quoted by the Boulder Daily Camera, Centaurus Principal Rhonda Haniford described Brunsvold as a "kind person with a big heart who cared deeply for others" -- and in speaking with the Camera, she got emotional.
Some comfort can be derived from the photos Brunsvold featured on her Facebook page -- not just snaps of herself, but also three graphic images that suggest worlds beyond this one. Check them out below.
More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Zachary Sare murdered near home on 24th birthday (32)."