Suspect In Custody in Deadly Hit and Run Accident

By: Lauri Martin Email
By: Lauri Martin Email
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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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