‘A kid at heart’: Family devastated after man dies in traffic crash
January 14, 2018
Mike Bott wasn't yet married to his fiancée, Tamera Dungan, but her nieces and nephews already knew him as "Uncle Mike."
Dungan's sister, Autumn Williams, said Bott was amazing around kids.
"He would walk in the room and he was so playful and so happy," Williams said. "He was like a kid at heart."
At 53, Bott's childlike playfulness made it all the more difficult when Williams heard the news from her sister. About 4:40 p.m. Friday, as Bott was driving west on Weld County Road 64 ½, he lost control on a curve east of Weld 27. When he tried to correct his vehicle, the front passenger's side of his green 1993 Honda collided with the front of an eastbound vehicle, according to Colorado State Patrol spokesman Trooper Gary Cutler. The driver of the eastbound vehicle, a 37-year-old Greeley woman, and a passenger were taken to North Colorado Medical Center. Cutler said the driver received moderate injuries and the passenger received minor injuries. He said he could not release more details about either of them Saturday afternoon as authorities continue to investigate the collision.
Cutler said alcohol is a suspected factor in the collision and Bott was not wearing a seatbelt.
Weld County Coroner Carl Blesch confirmed the identity of Bott late Saturday night. He is the first to die this year on Weld County roads. Williams said she and her mother could barely make out what Dungan was saying when she called to say Bott died in a car crash.
"(Dungan is) not really wanting to talk to anybody right now," Williams said. "She's just devastated."
Recommended Stories For You
Dungan and Bott of Greeley were engaged to be married this year. They were together for more than three years. In that time, Williams got to know Bott as a happy guy — someone who always smiled and cracked a lot of jokes. It was apparent he loved not only Dungan but the whole family, she said.
Williams' daughter, Hannah, 16, made calls Friday evening trying to find out anything about the collision she could.
"She absolutely adored him," Williams said.
Bott was going through a difficult time, Williams explained, having recently lost a job as a mechanical technician at Vestas. It didn't help he was the breadwinner for his fiancée and her 15-year-old daughter.
"It's so hard to believe that he didn't make it," she said. "He's a wonderful man."