12-year-old remains critical after car careens through Parker store

A 12-year-old girl, hurt when a car crashed into a running store in Parker is in critical condition. Rylie Guentensberger was one of seven people injured on Saturday afternoon.

PARKER - A girl is in critical but stable condition after a car careened through the front of a walking and running store in Parker on Saturday.

Jennifer Bennett, a family spokeswoman for 12-year-old Rylie Guentensberger's family, said Rylie is being monitored for swelling in her brain. 

Bennett called Rylie a "standout young lady," athlete and strong community supporter. She added Rylie has competed in a youth triathlon, and hosted a 5K run to raise awareness about puppy mills.

Parker police said the driver was suffering an apparent medical emergency when she drove into the front of RNK Running and Walking.

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Jim Browning, owner of RNK, noted there are two pillars in front of his store meant to stop errant vehicles. 

The case highlights the important role safety plays in urban planning.

Speaking to urban designer Ken Puncerelli, it's clear his work serves as the intersection between behavior and beauty.

"The three tenets that are critical to design are health, safety and welfare," Puncerelli said.  

"I can tell you the 9/11 attacks changed some of what our firm does," he said.

Puncerelli runs LAI Design Group in Englewood. He  points out that a pretty landscape -- from tree-lined boulevards to roundabouts to grassy lawns -- is actually meant to keep people safe.

"Often times we look down our neighborhood streets and we see detached sidewalks," he said.  "They look great, they’re lined with trees, but if you think about it the trees function much like a bollard."

"They become an impediment to automobiles," he said.

Blockades help save lives, but also save drivers from financial disaster.

"You are financially responsible even if your insurance doesn’t completely cover it because you don’t have high enough limits," Carole Walker said, an insurance expert with Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

She said if a crash is somehow intentional, your insurance likely won’t cover you at all.

"The big takeaway for drivers is understand what your insurance covers, especially your liability.

Browning told 9NEWS in the next few weeks he plans to meet with an architect to figure out how to make sure the area is as safe as possible. One idea Browning had: simply putting in bike racks.

Monday at 6 p.m., two events for Rylie are scheduled. One is a prayer vigil held at Aspen View Academy in Castle Rock from 6 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. The other is a a run taking off from RNK Running and Walking at 6 p.m. 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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