Originally Published: September 16, 2017 6:04 a.m.
Valerie Jean Creek, a well-known community volunteer was killed on Sept. 4 when she was struck by a van while riding her bicycle along with her son on Highway 69.
Valerie, 52, of Prescott, and her son were headed north on the southbound shoulder at about 6:30 p.m. near milepost 291 in the Diamond Valley area.
A van traveling south on Highway 69 reportedly crossed the white line onto the shoulder and struck the bicycle, killing Creek, but narrowly missing the 16-year-old. The Daily Courier does not identify minor children who are victims.
Matt West, the adult assigned to be the boy’s mentor by the Yavapai Big Brothers / Big Sisters program, said the pair was returning to their Diamond Valley home when the crash happened.
“He was riding his bike behind his mom, coming back from the store,” West said, “and he was a few feet behind her when she was struck by the van.”
Creek was a volunteer at several Prescott-area organizations, such as Prescott Creeks and the Coalition for Compassion and Justice.
“Valerie and her son ... often volunteered for CCJ’s special projects, especially Fair Start, where school supplies are distributed. She had been part of the CCJ family for well over 13 years,” said Diane Iverson at CCJ.
“Valerie was interested in creative writing and shared her writing from time to time. She loved to share what (her son) was up to in his education. I think, before everything else, she was a very devoted and proud mother,” Iverson said.
“On a regular basis, she would attend the creek cleanup,” said Michael Byrd, executive director of Prescott Creeks, noting that she always brought her son along. “We would see her out and about, and she always had very positive and supportive things to say about what was happening with the creek.”
West said the boy’s father is a disabled veteran and unable to work, so Valerie’s death means the loss of the family’s sole breadwinner.
“(The boy) expressed stepping up,” and said, “I guess I’ll have to get a job and provide for my dad,’” West related.
“He’s grieving, and, I imagine, he’s going through hopelessness and anger and despair and numbness.”
West has set up a GoFundMe online fundraising account to try to raise money for the boy and his father. It’s at gofundme.com/valerie-creek-memorial-fund. So far it has raised nearly $4,600 of a $30,000 goal.
A Department of Public Safety spokesman said there has been no decision about possible charges for the van’s driver.
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