By Melissa Garcia
LIMON, Colo. (CBS4)– Friends and strangers are coming together to support a Denver-area family whose young daughter was killed in a crash. Reagan Purdy died last Saturday, after the car she and her dad were in was struck by a wrong-way driver.
Jared Purdy, Reagan’s dad, is a Denver police officer.
Police confirmed Thursday that Jared worked as an officer at the Denver Police Department for 12 years, most recently as a detective. After selflessly serving others, now detective Purdy is the one who needs some support.
Jared and Reagan were driving home on Interstate 70 from a hunting trip near Limon when a wrong way driver smashed into them broadside. Colorado State Patrol has identified the at-fault driver as Gary Williams, 68, of Parker.
The impact killed Reagan instantly, along with their family dog, authorities said. Jared is recovering at home with serious injuries.
Troopers have charged Williams with vehicular homicide, child abuse resulting in death, vehicular assault, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, and driving on wrong side of a divided highway.
“It was just was total shock for all of us,” said Beth Menezes, one of a group of moms whose kids grew up with Reagan.
“She was so creative. She liked to play dress-up a lot,” Menezes told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia, of her friend’s daughter.
Friends are asking the community to come together to support Reagan’s family through the terrible tragedy.
“So that they don’t have to worry about bills for as long as possible,” Menezes said. “When that happens to someone so close to you, you try to put yourself in their shoes, trying to be empathetic. And I know if that happened to me, if it was my son, there’s no way I would even be able to think about working.”
Menezes has set up a GoFundMe account to help support the family financially.
A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 24. Services will be held at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, 12735 W. 58th Avenue, Arvada, beginning at 10:30 a. m. with a reception to follow. Friends will be wearing bright, sparkly colors the whole day. Children are encouraged to wear their favorite “imaginative dress-up clothes” to the service and the reception, as Reagan did so many times each day.