Tragedy strikes on Hwy 61

    A tragedy with wide-ranging impacts struck the Yuma County community Monday afternoon, March 13, when a teenager was killed and three other people were seriously injured in an accident on Highway 61 in Washington County.
    Allison Turvey, 15, died from her injuries after being airlifted from the accident scene to Children’s Hospital in metro Denver.
    The Eckley resident was a sophomore at Yuma High School. She leaves behind her parents, Stewart and Joni Turvey; younger brother John, an eighth-grader; and numerous grieving relatives and friends.
    Yuma High School was on spring break last week, but the school was open Tuesday and Wednesday with counselors made available to students, staff and community members.
    Another public gathering was held last Tuesday night at the Yuma Community Center, and Turvey’s funeral was held Tuesday, March 21, at the Eckley Community Center.
    Turvey, a highly decorated 4-H member in crafts, clothing and sewing, was with two other 4-H members, 15-year-old Sierra Conde and 13-year-old Shyanne Conde (granddaughters of Monse and Olga Conde of Holyoke), and a 4-H leader, Sharon Blackham, 65, of Wray, returning from Sterling when the accident occurred at 3:10 p.m. about 15 miles north of Otis.
    According to the Colorado State Patrol, they were in a 2004 Lincoln MKX, southbound on Highway 61. The vehicle went into a right-hand curve, went off the east side of the highway, went through a delineator post and a barbed-wire fence, traveled across a drainage ditch and struck the embankment head-on.
    The state patrol reported excessive speed is not considered a factor.
    Blackham and Sierra and Shyanne Conde were transported to Sterling Regional MedCenter, where at least some of them were airlifted to other hospitals.
    The Conde family has been overwhelmed by community support and provided the following update on Sierra and Shyanne.
    Sierra underwent a surgery last Monday to remove a portion of her small intestine, as well as one Wednesday for a spinal fusion. Post operation, she has shown great determination to get moving again and continues to improve every day. She was transferred out of PICU Thursday evening and was able to get out of bed that night.
    She began physical/occupational therapy on Sunday and has been able to do some walking and sitting up in her chair. There have been struggles with pain management, but Sierra is hanging in there very well. Her specialist teams are pleased with how she is progressing, and her doctors have a goal to release her by the end of the week.
    Shyanne broke her elbow and has been told there is a possibility she will need surgery to repair it. She had an appointment on Monday with an orthopedic specialist at Children’s Hospital.

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