Teen remembered for work ethic, love of fishing
Danny McQueen was a good friend and a good son. McQueen, 18, of New Castle, was killed in a one-car accident on Interstate 70 Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. on his way home from work.His dad, Dan McQueen, of Rifle, said his son had a strong commitment to duty and although he was scheduled to work day shifts, went in to his job at Staples in Glenwood Springs that night because they were short-handed.”I taught my kids to be dedicated and to honor your commitments,” Dan McQueen said Friday. “He shouldn’t have gone to work that night, but he did it.”Ironically, Danny and his family were at a funeral for Bill Porter, a longtime rancher in New Castle, the day before Danny died. “Danny didn’t go to work, he went to the funeral,” said his step-mother, Kelly McQueen. “He left the funeral and went to work. He worked all night long. We think he was going to … go to his mom’s because he was tired, and he didn’t make it.”In remembering Danny, Kelly said, “He was a good friend to his friends and family. He had a very big heart and was very giving.”He was active in Boy Scouts and was working at Staples to save up to go on a mission through his church when he turned 19 in September.He liked to fish and hike and camp. Just two weeks ago the family returned from a trip to Mazatlan, Mexico, where Danny had his first experience deep sea fishing.”He caught a dolphin fish,” Dan said. “He was thrilled.”Although the dolphin fish got away, that didn’t deter Danny.”I said, ‘Danny, I’m sure sorry that fish got away.’ He said, ‘Dad, it doesn’t matter. Just getting it to the boat is thrill enough. This is the best day of my life.'”Danny also liked to tinker with things. His mom had a “beat up old lawn mower and he would resurrect it every spring.”More than the sum of the things he loved to do, Danny was his fathers son.”He was my shadow,” Dan said. In almost all the pictures of Danny he’s pictured close to Dan.”He followed me everywhere,” Dan said, even on romantic walks on the beach in Mazatlan with Kelly. “He was a really touchy, feely kind of guy. He was world-famous for his hugs,” Dan said. “He was just a sweet-hearted boy.”Danny’s mom Sherryl remembered how he loved to go to powwows when he was a little boy when the family was living in northern California.”He loved the sound of the drums when he was little,” she said.She knew he was hooked on fishing because he had very little patience as is typical of little boys. But when he had a fishing pole in his hand “he could sit there for hours,” she said.The family moved to New Castle when Danny was in the third grade. As a family, the McQueens enrolled in Brian Mable’s karate school. “He was a good kid,” Mable said. “I really enjoyed having him in class. Danny had a lot of energy and he wanted to learn.”Mable said he was greatly sadden by the news of Danny’s death.Danny’s life in New Castle also revolved around band, especially the Rifle High School jazz band. He graduated from Rifle High School in 2005.”He loved his job and the people he worked with,” Sherryl said. “Life was good for him.”The tragic, untimely loss of their son is mitigated in some measure by the family’s faith.”He’s serving his mission on the other side. That gives me some comfort,” Dan said.
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UPDATE: The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office reported shortly after 10 p.m. Monday that the wreck on eastbound 1-70 near Dotsero has been cleared. Traffic was moving at exit 116 in Glenwood Springs, and as of…