Colorado springs Gazette said:Teenagers act of generosity brings his life to tragic end
By ANSLEE WILLETT -THE GAZETTE
Being a good Samaritan cost a Colorado Springs teenager his life Wednesday night when he was killed while helping push a stalled car off North Academy Boulevard.
Kevin Lentz, 16, was walking home from his job at Josh & John's at Academy and Union boulevards, where he made ice cream.
When he saw the motorist stopped on southbound Academy less than half a mile away, he offered to help move the car out of traffic.
Justin Walker, 23, was driving home from his job at Macaroni Grill when his car stalled in the right traffic lane. Lentz was pushing from behind the car as Walker pushed from outside the driver's side with the door open, holding onto the wheel to steer.
A southbound Toyota 4Runner slammed into the back of the car, first crushing Lentz then running over him.
He died in a helicopter on the way to The Children's Hospital in Denver.
"It's just a sad, sad, tragic deal. There's no other way to word it," Colorado Springs police Sgt. Larry Morgan said Thursday.
The driver of the sport utility vehicle, Sara Tomlinson, 18, is expected to be served a summons on suspicion of careless driving involving death, a misdemeanor, police said.
"She wasn't paying attention to the road," Morgan said.
Police had not determined how fast Tomlinson was going when she crashed. Tomlinson and her passenger, who were treated for minor injuries, had to be sedated.
Walker, who wasn't injured, couldn?t be reached for comment.
"He was cooperative with us but most definitely in shock," Morgan said.
Lentz usually preferred walking to and from Josh & John's, where he'd worked for about three weeks.
"You guys don't have to pick me up. I want to walk," he would tell his parents.
Before his father left the house Wednesday afternoon, he asked Kevin if he wanted a ride to work for his 5 to 10 p.m. shift. No, he'd make the 15-minute walk.
"Have a good shift," his dad told him. "I'll see you when you get home."
"Sure thing," Kevin said. "Take care."
He was chosen for the ice cream job out of more than 100 applicants, manager Abe Stephenson said.
The shop was familiar to his family because his brother was an ice-cream maker for three years at the downtown location.
"(Kevin's) parents would come in, and it was easy to tell that he was part of a special family there," Stephenson said. "It doesn't surprise us at all that Kevin would be helping someone in the regard that he was when he passed away. We are just deeply saddened and in shock right now."
Lentz was excited about getting his driver?s license next month and was saving up to pay for insurance and to fix up his brother's old car.
He also was saving to buy a plane ticket to visit a friend who recently moved to South Carolina.
Richard and Karen Lentz spent part of Thursday calling the parents of their son's close friends to tell them what happened.
Lentz, who would have been a junior at Palmer High School, loved to play video games, hike and enjoyed the outdoors.
"Last summer he hiked Pikes Peak in one day," Richard Lentz said. "We were going to do it later this summer, but we were going to take two days."
It wasn't uncommon for the family to take trips. To celebrate the New Year's, Lentz and his parents went to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore and Devil's Tower.
Lentz was the youngest of four siblings. In addition to his parents, he is survived by a brother, Ryan, and two sisters, Becca and Kimberly.
His brother flew in Thursday night from Mexico.
"We will all be together to say goodbye to the boy who will live in our hearts forever," his mother said.
This young man was robbed of so many things.... i have so much erspect for him, and wish i had told him that in life.... I also wish i had given him better advice the night before he died, for he was a friend of sorts and will be missed by more then he ever could have expected. I only wish people to hear his story so he will not be forgoten..... also, dear Nicole.... we feel your sorrow and i just want you to know that i never had a conversation with Kevin that didn't involve him spouting off his love for you....
May he always be remembered....