‘We Can Learn From It’: Family Of Girl Killed In Storefront Crash

By Jennifer Brice

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – The driver who crashed into a store in Parker, ultimately killing a 12-year-old inside, will not be charged. Now her family is sharing their stories about her and her life.

That driver had a medical condition.

Rylie Guentensberger, who was injured by a vehicle driving through a storefront, died from her injuries last month.

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Rylie Guentensberger (credit: CBS)

Rylie was just 12 years old. She became pinned under the SUV and spent a month in the hospital before she died of her injuries.

Tuesday afternoon, Rylie’s parents welcomed CBS4’s Jennifer Brice to their Castle Rock home.

They want to say thank you to the community that rallied behind Rylie, offering support and love to their entire family.

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Meghann and Ziggy Guentensberger with their 11-year-old son Tanner. (credit: CBS)

Meghann and Ziggy Guentensberger describe how they are coping with the loss with their 11-year old Son, Tanner, standing with them.

“We have two choices,” says Meghan. “We can let this beat us down or we can learn from it and grow from it and we know that’s exactly what Rylie would want from us.”

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Meghann and Ziggy Guentensberger (credit: CBS)

The community rallied around this family immediately in ways that the Guentensberger’s did not expect. They received thousands of likes and messages from strangers on the “Rally for Rylie” Facebook page that was started as an easy way for them to update friends and family about Rylie’s condition.

Meghann says people reached out from all over the world. “People in the U.K. and there are blue shoes hanging on a door in Dubai.”

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Meghann and Tanner (credit: CBS)

The blue shoes are a symbol that the family set up for Rylie in remembrance of her. A pair hangs outside their home.

“It’s is crazy to see people reaching out and had so many messages,” adds Meghan.

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(credit: CBS)

Family and friends describe Rylie as teenager with a big heart, who often gave back to nonprofits.

So naturally, mom and dad, wanted to thank you and everyone who helped them find some light in the most dark time of their lives says Ziggy.

“The amount of support has really lifted us up,” he says. “To know there’s been that much impact and caring has carried us through some of the darkest days that we had to go through.”

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Meghann and Ziggy Guentensberger with their 11-year-old son Tanner. (credit: CBS)

There will be a celebration of life for Rylie on June 24 at the Philip S. Miller complex at 1375 Plum Creek Parkway in Castle Rock. It will start at 3 p.m. and end at 6 p.m. The public is welcome to attend, and should expect/prepare for the following:

“Wear athletic wear and a touch of blue. Climb the incline, bike / hike / run a trail, kick a soccer ball, write messages in chalk, and blow bubbles as a way to honor Rylie. We hope to mix the old with the new – bring a dish to share or visit a food truck. Join us for a blessing and bubble launch. Share stories, poems, or memories either in small groups or in an “open mic” atmosphere.”

The family is encouraging people to make donations in lieu of flowers. The money raised will go toward some of Riley’s favorite organizations like the Dumb Friends league. It will also create support packages for families in hospitals who don’t have the same support system.

Jennifer Brice is a reporter with CBS4 focusing on crime and courts. Follow her on Facebook or on Twitter @CBS4Jenn.

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