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Minnesota woman fatally struck after vehicle disabled by elk in Colorado

A Colorado TV station reports that 18-year-old Kendra Durnan of Buffalo was hit while standing on the shoulder of I-25 near Denver.

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — A Minnesota woman is dead after the SUV she was riding in struck an elk in Colorado early Monday. 

KARE 11's affiliate station KUSA reports that 18-year-old Kendra Durnan of Buffalo was a passenger in a Chevy Trailblazer traveling south on Interstate 25 near Castle Pines just before 1 a.m. Monday morning when the vehicle hit an elk running across the highway. 

In a news release, the Colorado State Patrol says Durnan and the 21-year-old driver of the SUV were standing on the left shoulder along with a good Samaritan who had stopped to help, when another vehicle hit the elk in the roadway and careened onto the shoulder of I-25. Durnan was struck and killed, and the other two people were thrown over a concrete barrier and into the northbound lanes of the interstate. 

The patrol says the SUV that hit Durnan than bounced back into traffic and collided with two other vehicles. Nine people in all were transported to a hospital with injuries. 

A close friend of both Kendra and her family has set up a GoFundMe to cover the cost of transporting her and her belongings back to Minnesota. Those who would like to contribute can donate here. 

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, the 10-mile stretch of I-25 where the crash occurred has some of the highest numbers of roadkill reports for highways in the Denver metro area.

The state patrol says the interstate was reopened shortly after 7 a.m. after the crash scene was reconstructed and cleared. Speed, drugs or alcohol are not considered factors in the incident. 


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