A Castle Rock man died approximately two weeks after a multi-vehicle crash in town sent nine additional people to the hospital, leaving his family's world “turned upside down.”
As the family mourns, the community has been quick to rally around them.
Several fundraisers are underway for the wife and children of 49-year-old Wayne Evans, who died Feb. 17 from injuries he sustained in a Feb. 2 crash at Founders Parkway and Interstate 25 in Castle Rock.
Seven vehicles and 13 people were involved in the crash. All but three of the individuals were transported to area hospitals. Victims ranged in age from 12 to 77.
Colorado Patrol State Trooper Josh Lewis said the incident unfolded when a semi exiting from the interstate pushed two vehicles into the intersection, colliding with four more vehicles.
Three of the seven vehicles involved, including the semi, went down an embankment and crashed into the nearby Bubbles Liquor World.
Lewis said the cause of the crash is still under investigation and no charges have been brought against the truck driver, a 53-year-old man from Boulder.
“Once we actually have our cause and everything gets completed, we're hoping to put out more information, but we don't have an ETA for that yet,” Lewis said.
An obituary for Evans said he is survived by his wife, Melissa, and two daughters, Madison, 10, and Abby, 7. The family moved to Castle Rock in 2018. A memorial service is scheduled for Feb. 29 in Larkspur.
A GoFundMe for the family said Evans' wife and children witnessed the accident, which placed him in an induced coma for two weeks. The GoFundMe had raised more than $26,000 as of Feb. 25.
A statement from Melissa posted to the page Feb. 24 said the family was grateful to the community for its support.
“Our world was turned upside down, but the love we've received from this community and beyond, has been a light in the sadness,” she said. “From the bottom of my heart, please know how thankful we are for the endless love, prayers and support you've shown us.”
At least two businesses, including Bubbles Liquor World, are raising money for the family.
Bubbles Liquor World President Josh Kimsey said the store is accepting donations at the register now through March, which it will give to the family on behalf of its customers.
Kimsey said the store was able to stay open “during the entire event." Damage to the building is estimated at $35,000.
The semi crashed into a rear entrance and dumpster area, smashing the dumpsters and doors and damaging products inside, he said.
No one inside the store was injured. Kimsey wasn't on site when the crash occurred but his manager called him immediately after to explain what happened.
“It sounded like all of our shelving in the back storage room had crashed down,” he recalled the employee telling him. “But it was the truck that hit the building.”
When Kimsey arrived, he saw emergency crews and police swarming the scene.
“It was pretty traumatic for the people who were here, you know, seeing the accident and the people who were involved and trying to help and assist in any way we could,” he said.
Patrons and staff at the nearby Black Rock Coffee Bar also watched the accident unfold, said owner McKenzie Parker and store manager Amanda Hull.
“It stopped one of the busiest intersections in town,” Hull said.
The coffee shop, at 4985 Factory Shops Boulevard, is donating 100% of its proceeds from Feb. 28 to the family and also accepting cash donations. The fundraiser runs from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“We'll have full staff on board ready to rock it, so the lines should move pretty steady,” Parker said.
Hull said the business has already had people try to donate, which is why it has put out donation buckets as well.
“We just felt like as a community we need to step up and we need to help out in times of need like this,” Parker said. “And try to bring a little light to the family in such a hard time in their life.”
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