Killed Moving Rabbit; William Kieren, 79, Dies Helping Injured Rabbit
A 79-year-old Wyoming man was killed moving a rabbit on a two-lane highway near Laramie on Sunday. William Kieren was killed moving the rabbit off the road after he stopped his vehicle when he spotted the wounded critter. As he tried to help the bunny a car driven by 25-year-old Samantha Brown struck and killed Kieren as she passed his vehicle in the adjacent lane. Police determined she was going the speed limit when she killed the man moving the rabbit, and Kieren's family has asked that no charges be filed against her.
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"We don't believe it was her fault at all," Kieren's stepdaughter Sandra Malone told the Laramie Boomerang. "It was an accident."
The Highway Patrol reported an investigation into the crash that killed the man moving the rabbit is under way, and findings will be turned over to the Albany County Attorney's Office, which will decide whether to file criminal charges. Malone sent an email to the district attorney's office supporting Brown.
"I basically said we don't believe it was her fault, that it was an accident and I hope no charges get pressed against her," Malone said.
Malone said Kieren was a Cheyenne native, a Vietnam veteran, longtime Laramie resident and an avid outdoorsman. Kieren helped raise Malone and her siblings from a young age, and she said she's not surprised to learn he was killed moving a rabbit out of harm's way.
"He doesn't want to see animals suffer," she told the newspaper. "Dad was trying to make sure a rabbit that was hit was not suffering. [He] was a wonderful man and will be missed."
Malone is organizing a memorial for the man killed moving a rabbit, and is also trying to reassure Brown that her family feels no ill will towards her for her role in what is, ultimately, a tragic accident caused by a kind-hearted man doing what he felt was right.
"We just wanted her to know we don't blame her," Malone said. "She had a lot of guilt and we felt sorry for her. We told her if she needed anything to call us."
Unfortunately there's no happy ending here. State troopers found the rabbit barely alive on scene and had to put it down.
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