Suspect In Custody in Deadly Hit and Run Accident

By: Lauri Martin Email
By: Lauri Martin Email

A woman has turned herself in to police for allegedly killing a bicyclist in a hit and run accident. Police said 43-year-old Jeannie Rhoades contacted them Tuesday morning to tell them she is the driver who fatally hit 38-year-old James Stenson with her car last night.

The Colorado Springs man died instantly after being struck on Garden of the Gods Road near Centennial.

11 News spoke with Stenson’s best friend, Julie Kaye Haynes. She said he was trying to get his life back on track so he could get back in touch with his 14-year-old son.

"He loved me and he said we’ll always be friends. I have that to hold onto," final words Stenson said to Haynes just hours before the accident.

"James loved life and he was a great man."

Police said Stenson may have started heading south on Forest Hill before the light turned green and Rhoades, heading east on Garden of the Gods, apparently ran the red light.

“Oh my gosh, I can't believe no one was stopping," said Rebecca Kelley. She and her husband were the first ones at the accident scene who stopped to help out. She said she always offers assistance because her 21-year-old daughter was killed in a car crash two years ago. "If someone would've stopped for my daughter, they could've helped."

For Haynes, she carries a rock that says “hope”. It was a gift to her from her best friend and if she had a final moment with Stenson, she would say, "I'm grateful to have had you in my life. You taught me how to smile when I couldn’t smile and I love you for that."

Police said if Rhoades hadn’t left the accident scene, there's a possibility no charges would’ve been filed.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by mike Location: tupelo ms. on Nov 6, 2007 at 08:42 AM
    what kind of remark is that saying bike riders are as much at fault as people who drive cars that run red lights and run over people idiot!!!!!!!!
  • by TM Location: colorado springs on Oct 17, 2007 at 03:36 PM
    True or false, rumor has it that the woman who turned herself in is actually not the one who was driving. People say they saw a younger woman driving and a couple people saw the woman at Diamond Shamrock and it is not the same woman that turned herself in. They say the real woman is alot younger, maybe her daughter or a close relative. Just speaking from word of mouth. Some people love to protect there loved ones, but in reality you are only hurting them worse. God knows the truth and those that were at Diamond Shamrock. Have shame for what you do. I hope the investigators are doing their jobs.
  • by Annonymous Location: colorado springs. on Oct 17, 2007 at 10:38 AM
    Why is it always the drivers fault when these kind of things happen. I think that maybe people that ride bicycles need to also pay more attention. They seem to think it is always the motorists who need to look out for them, but if they choose ot ride their bike in a busy city they need to pay attention to what is going on around them. Maybe they have the RIGHT person but MAYBE it truely was an accident. Driving a car is dangerous no matter how you look at it but if people would pay more attention and stop being in such a hurry all the time maybe there would be less ACCIDENTS. I think both parties involved are VICTIMS.
  • by David Location: Colorado Springs on Oct 17, 2007 at 05:29 AM
    Unfortunately the cameras on the traffic signals don't record the pictures of traffic going through. They only look at what's happening at any particular time to cause the lights to change. But perhaps it's a good idea to have them do more for times like this.
  • by Cassie Location: US on Oct 16, 2007 at 06:53 PM
    I'm not sure the media could ever convey just how horrible this accident really was. I wasn't there but my sister was. What's sad is, it is likely they do not have the right person. Hopefully, they will catch and prosecute the right person. Confessions aren't always truthful, especially if they stem from trying to save someone you love.
  • by Tabatha Location: Colorado Springs on Oct 16, 2007 at 05:57 PM
    I have personally had problems with that same area. My family loves to ride our bikes. On Forest Hills and Garden of the Gods road they do not like to stop all the way or look before turning left at the light. I myself have had to yell at people not seeing my children and us about to cross when it is our turn.People need to pay more attention. My prayers and heart go out to the family of that man.
  • by Lesli Location: Colorado Springs on Oct 16, 2007 at 07:45 AM
    I work off this intersection of Forest Hill and Garden of the Gods. I see people run the light at least once a week. I have even had cars run the light while I was turning on a green light. It is a dangerous spot.
  • by Kathryn Location: Colorado Springs on Oct 16, 2007 at 07:18 AM
    Red Light Running is Colordo Spring's second past-time. It is about we activate the cameras at these intersections. If C-470 can get your license plate @75 MHP - then Colorado Springs can get the pic of red light offenders.
  • by Bob Location: Colorado Springs on Oct 15, 2007 at 08:41 PM
    I think that they need to go back and look at the cameras on the light there and then they would see the vechile and what happened and get the women that done it.
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