The nation's television viewers know Clement Park as the stretch of greenery over which hundreds of Columbine High School students fled in the wake of the 1999 attack there. But for residents of the area (including yours truly), Clement today is a center for recreational activity in addition to reflection, with multiple playgrounds, a skate park, fields for soccer and football and a lake that offers fishing and a lovely walking/biking path.
Today, however, it's the scene of a rescue turned into a recovery operation: A man who drove his car into the lake has been confirmed dead.
The lake is accessible from many points, including a public library that overlooks it and parking lots serving a slew of businesses: Macaroni Grill, Christy Sports, Barnes & Noble and a relatively new Walmart Neighborhood Market. There's also a retirement complex at the water's edge. Here's an interactive graphic that'll help you picture the area; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
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Reports about a car crashing into the lake began circulating over the course of the past hour or so, and in the beginning, there was hope that the driver had survived; in fact, 7News initially reported that "a man was rescued from the lake around 4:45 a.m." But the unhappy truth was confirmed in this tweet from the Colorado State Patrol:
Clement Park: 2007 Pontiac 2D, 1 confirmed fatal, no other vehicles/parties, no info on deceased, under investigation.
— CSP Public Affairs (@CSP_News) August 11, 2014
The "no other parties" mention above was determined after authorities, including a dive team, conducted a search of the lake and surrounding area in the vicinity of the car.
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9News notes that a jogger alerted authorities to the crash at around 4:15 a.m. The car was reportedly "racing along the bike path when it lost control, rolling into the lake."
Why was the car driving on a bike path at that time of the morning? An investigation into that question and others is underway at this hour.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.