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Tragic Crash on Interstate 70 Leaves Young Lucy Harris Paralyzed

October 19, 2023

In a devastating incident on July 15, on Interstate 70 near Genesee, a family’s life changed irrevocably. Lucy Harris, a vibrant 10-year-old from Centennial, Colorado, now faces a life paralyzed from the waist down.

On a clear, dry day, as the Harris family was en route to the Courage Classic Bicycle Tour — a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital Colorado — the unimaginable happened. Lucy, along with her mother Jennifer and younger brother Calvin, had halted due to the flow of traffic. Out of nowhere, a vehicle traveling at a speed of 70 mph rammed into their stationary car.

The alleged culprit behind the wheel was Jerold Taylor, an off-duty deputy with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, driving a Chevy Tahoe. Initial investigations reveal that Taylor, whose focus was distracted from the road, first hit another vehicle before violently crashing into the Harris family’s car.

Lucy’s injuries from the crash are heart-wrenching. Her spinal cord was severed, leaving her paralyzed. Furthermore, she endured massive internal bleeding, necessitating the removal of her spleen, full surgery, and the placement of numerous medical tubes.

Peter Harris, Lucy’s father and a participant in the bike tour they were heading to, expressed his disbelief and pain. “It’s hard to accept. It’s unacceptable,” he stated, condemning the recklessness that led to this catastrophe. “She was just, really, a sitting duck on the highway.”

As the investigation unfolds, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Taylor has been with the department since 2005. Spokeswoman Jacki Kelley stated that an inquiry is currently ongoing, categorizing it as a misdemeanor case for now. Should the charges elevate to a felony, Taylor will face suspension.

Though the law currently sees Taylor facing three counts of careless driving resulting in injury, which is a Class 1 Misdemeanor in Colorado, Peter Harris feels it doesn’t encapsulate the gravity of his daughter’s plight. “The consequences of this type of behavior are as extreme as it gets,” he said, emphasizing the life-long ramifications Lucy will face.

The family remains strong, with Lucy’s parents echoing a united sentiment: “She’s a very smart girl. She’s going to find a way to rise above this.”

As the Harris family grapples with unforeseen medical expenses, home modifications, and the emotional toll, a GoFundMe has been initiated to assist them. With Lucy’s arraignment scheduled for September 14 and her anticipated hospital release on September 19, the journey is just beginning.

For victims like Lucy and their families who face life-altering situations due to the negligence of others, seeking justice is imperative. At Jordan Law, we stand ready to offer our expertise and support. If you or your loved ones have experienced a similar plight, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Let’s work together to ensure accountability and help pave the path to recovery.

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