Update: Last month, we told you about the death of Kyle Scholla, a popular and active student at Rifle High School, located in western Colorado; we've incorporated our previous coverage into this post.
First reports said that Scholla died following an April 1 accident that involved car surfing in the parking lot of Rifle's Walmart branch.
Nearly two weeks later, these claims were disputed by Rifle Police Chief John Dyer, who told the Glenwood Springs Post Independent that Scholla was sitting on the hood of a moving vehicle, not standing, when he fell off. As such, he didn't believe Scholla was "thrill-seeking."
Nonetheless, the car's driver, seventeen-year-old Alex Brown, has been charged with careless driving resulting in death for the incident — although the district attorney in the case doesn't appear to be seeking jail time.
Scholla was a member of Rifle High's football team and a participant in the drama club, which put up the following post after he was rushed to St. Mary's hospital in Grand Junction, more than an hour away from Rifle, following his injuries on April 1.
An update on our beloved Kyle: For those of you who are unaware, senior Kyle Scholla of the drama club and football team, was injured earlier this weekend. He is currently at St. Mary's hospital and is in critical condition. He could use any and all prayers at this time. The doctors and family are all very hopeful and we are seeing daily improvements. They have asked that people do not visit at this time to give him time to heal. We will be hosting a prayer vigil this week for Kyle, as well as going through with our lip sync contest. All the funds from the contest will go to the Scholla family and we will have a silent auction with it.... For now, please keep him and his parents in your prayers.
Unfortunately, the positive reports about Scholla's progress were followed by much sadder news.
He passed away on April 9.
After Kyle's death, his family shared the following message on Facebook:
We the Scholla family would like to thank everybody for the heartfelt support and love for Kyle Scholla. Although his body passed away, his big smile and spirit lives on forever. As a parent it's wonderful to watch your child grow and become a good person. So go hug and tell your children\family\friends you love them everyday. For you never know how long the journey of life will be.
In regard to the charges against Brown, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel notes that he and Scholla were friends and there's no indication that either drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident. The paper quotes 9th Judicial District DA Sherry Caloia as saying, "Prosecutors will work out an agreement to have Brown enter her office’s diversion program, which diverts offenders out of the court system and into a rehabilitative program."
If Brown successfully completes the program, his record will be clean.
Our condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Kyle Scholla.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.