Teen drowns in flash flood
Two Colorado Springs parents' worst nightmare became a reality Tuesday. The El Paso County Coroner confirmed the body extracted from West Fork Sand Creek was that of a missing 17-year-old.
Heavy rain turned West Fork Sand Creek into a roaring river Monday. In its wake was a small stream, and an empty seat at the Hammes family's dinner table.
Rose Hammes went missing during Monday's storm. She went on a walk in the Village Seven area. The teen liked to take walks for several hours during the week said her dad, Roman Hammes.
She started her walk shortly before the storms rolled in. She called her Mom to tell her the situation. Her mom offered to pick her up but Rose decided to take shelter under a bridge on Maizeland Road near Academy Boulevard.
Rose's Mom, Kris Hammes, asked her to call back as soon as the storm passed.
Rose Hammes never called back.
Roman knew something was wrong when he didn't hear from his 17-year-old daughter.
"She probably took refuge under a drainage ditch and knowing Rose, she was very onverconfident of what she could do and she may have tried to cross when she shouldn't," said Roman Hammes.
He said rain and hail pounded their neighborhood.
"It was very bad," said Roman Hammes. "I know those drainage ditches were very high."
Her parents tried her cellphone for hours. They called the phone company to get the location of Rose Hammes' cell phone. Friends and neighbors joined the Hammes family's search for Rose Hammes.
"They're pretty devastated right now so just being a friend of their's and their next door neighbor, just trying to do what I can to help," said neighbor Mike Kaple on his participation in the night's search efforts.
Around midnight, the Colorado Springs Fire Department pulled a body from under a bridge in West Fork Sand Creek near Platte Avenue west of Wooten Road.
The body was three miles down stream from where Hammes was last seen. At the time, the fire department could not confirm it was Hammes, but said the clothes on the body matched those last seen on the teen.
The El Paso County Coroner conducted an autopsy Tuesday morning and determined it was Hammes. She died of blunt force trauma and drowning.
Hammes was the second oldest of seven children. Her dad said Hammes didn't had a lot of friends, but a few very close friends.
Her family requested privacy during this difficult time.
Hammes is the second person to die of flash flooding in the Colorado Springs area in the last four days. 53-year-old John Collins died Friday during flash flooding along Highway 24 Friday.
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