Chaparral graduate Allen Duke struck and killed by SUV in Durango


Former Parker resident Allen Duke was five weeks from graduating from Fort Lewis College and only a block from his job at the Adobe Inn in Durango, when he was struck and killed by an SUV on March 18. He had just celebrated his 23rd birthday on March 16, two days earlier.

"The world was robbed of a wonderful person," Allen's father, Brian Duke, said. "He touched so many people."

Allen Duke, a 2012 Chaparral High School graduate, was walking to work when an SUV jumped a curb, went through a brick barrier, hitting him and Italian tourist Marco Ricchi, who had been staying at the Adobe, authorities said.

The case is still under investigation, but as of March 21, no charges had been filed against the SUV's 76-year-old driver, according to the Durango Herald.

In addition to his father, Allen Duke is survived by his mother Emi, his twin brother Evan, and his older sister Brianna of Denver. Evan still resides in the Clarke Farms subdivision where the family lived before Brian and Emi moved to Colorado Springs.

While residing in Parker, Allen Duke was known around Parker for his participation in recreational and junior varsity soccer programs and his work teaching youth jiu jitsu, according to Brian Duke. He added that his son was a fixture at their church, Prairie Universalist Unitarian on Stonegate Parkway.

Emi Duke said her son was empathetic and supportive, and was renowned by friends and family for his sense of humor.

"He would always extend a hand to someone if he noticed they were on the outside of a group," she said. "He had a real affinity for seeing those people and letting them know that they were seen."

Allen Duke majored in accounting at Fort Lewis College, a degree choice his father said didn't quite match his son's gregarious personality.

"I told him 'you're going to get called in to do an audit and three hours later you won't even have started in because you'll be talking to them,' " Brian Duke said. "But he loved crunching numbers."

Administrators at the college told Brian Duke his son would be honored with a posthumous graduation at the school's April 29 commencement, and Evan will accept his brother's diploma.

A memorial service will be held at the First Unitarian Society church at 1400 N. Lafayette St. in Denver at 1 p.m. April 8.

The family will be back in Durango this weekend, Brian said, to gather Allen's belongings and drink a toast to him.

Emi Duke was able to talk with Allen over the phone on his birthday. She said she takes solace that she could tell him she loved him one last time.

"He said 'I love the way you and Dad raised me,' " she said. "I think that's the ultimate compliment a child could give a parent."

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