Indiana family reaches out to Durango parents after tragic loss | KOB 4

Indiana family reaches out to Durango parents after tragic loss

Meg Hilling
March 11, 2018 11:54 AM

DURANGO, Colo. – A family in Durango is grappling with the loss of their 2-year-old daughter after she accidentally rolled up a car window up on herself Wednesday morning.


Officials with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office report the girl’s father had taken her to work with him at a construction site. Deputies say the father had left the girl in his pickup with the windows rolled down and the car keys in the accessory position while he worked, periodically checking up on her.

According to authorities, around noon Wednesday emergency personnel were dispatched to the construction site where the girl had somehow rolled the window up on herself. Authorities say she later died from the accident in a Denver hospital.

Authorities report that there are no charges pending against the father.

Hundreds of miles away, a family from Indiana is reaching out to support the family.

Last August, Drew and Lisa Vanderkleed’s son, Logan, died from in a similar accident. Logan had been napping in the car on his family’s farm with his sister while his father cleaned out the vehicle right next to him. The weather was hot and the air running to keep him cool, with Drew checking up on his children as well.

The Vanderkleeds wrote on Facebook that at some point, Logan awoke from his nap, rolled down the window and had accidentally rolled it backup up on himself. He passed away from the accident and his organs were donated to help others.

The Vanderkleeds wanted to share a message with the Durango family, saying this could happen to anyone and that they are not alone.

"Cry as often as you want or need. Just make it get through the day, or if you have to get through this next hour, this next moment,” Drew Vanderkleed wrote. "Just take it step-by-step and you can get through it."

Vanderkleed also shared wisdom on how they faced harsh criticism from the outside world.

"For me, I first wanted to self-defend and speak back, and then in hindsight I thought, once again, 'How are they ever going to understand if they already don't understand?'” Lisa Vanderkleed said. “And secondly, part of me thought, 'Well, maybe they just don't have children.' And if you don't have children you don't understand how you can turn around for two seconds and something can happen."




Meg Hilling

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