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Colorado Teen ‘Donut’ Crash Leaves Multiple People Hurt

A group of teens’ reckless joyride in a Colorado Springs parking lot left five injured and the driver facing criminal charges.

The crash occurred when a sport utility vehicle rolled over while the driver was doing “donuts” in the parking lot on a Saturday night, according to multiple news reports. Several of the injured teens were said to be hanging out of the SUV’s windows at the time.

“Police said the vehicle rolled over and onto the people hanging out the windows,” Fox 21 reports. “Multiple people received serious life-threatening injuries and were taken to the hospital.”

The 19-year-old driver behind the wheel at the time of the crash was taken into police custody. She reportedly was charged with reckless driving and vehicular assault.

Video of the crash circulating on social media shows passengers dangling from the car’s windows as it starts in reverse to attempt another donut. The vehicle then flips over and onlookers rush to try to assist those injured.

The driver was held in jail overnight and released on bond. She was not injured in the crash, according to news reports.

Teen Accident Deaths Rising

The accident highlights some of the risks that come when teenagers get behind the wheel, especially when their friends are in the car with them.

More than 60 teen drivers were killed in 2023 traffic accidents across Colorado as of November, according to Colorado State Patrol and the Department of Transportation. The total death tally was up more than 50% from the previous year. 

A total of 73 people were killed in accidents involving teenage drivers over the same period. That number is more than one-third higher than a year earlier.

Speeding, careless driving and failure to wear a seat belt are common factors in crashes involving teen drivers, according to CDOT. The majority of teenagers injured in crashes nationwide are not wearing seatbelts at the time of the accidents.

Teenagers also are significantly more likely than others to be killed in alcohol-related traffic collisions. About 19% of 15- to 18-year-old passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2021 had been drinking, CDOT says.

A 16-year-old Denver girl was killed in October, for instance, after the car that she and several other teens were traveling in rolled over on eastbound I-70 near I-76, according to CBS Colorado. Arvada police said they believed alcohol was a factor in the crash. They said it was not immediately clear if anyone in the car – driven by another teen – was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Just a month later, a 17-year-old driver died after crashing his car through several fences and into a home in Lakewood. Police said shortly after the crash that they were still investigating whether alcohol and speed were factors in the tragic accident.

Compensation for People Injured in Colorado Car Accidents

Anyone who is injured in a car accident in Colorado – whether it is caused by a teen driver or otherwise – has the right to seek compensation from those responsible.

Colorado car accident claims are usually based on negligence. This legal theory holds people and entities liable when they do not live up to certain “duties of care.”

Drivers owe others on the road a “duty of care,” which requires them to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. That means obeying traffic laws, maintaining appropriate speeds and avoiding risky behavior like drinking or texting and driving. A driver who does not live up to this responsibility is likely to be liable for any accidents that happen as a result.

The monetary damages often available in these cases include compensation for medical bills, property damage, missed wages, and any impact on an injured person’s earning capacity. The compensation is designed to put the injured person back in the financial position that he or she was in prior to the crash.

Monetary compensation will not undo the accident. It can, however, ease some of the pain and stress that comes with being involved in a vehicle collision. An experienced Denver car accident lawyer can help you identify those responsible for the crash and build the strongest possible case for compensation.

Wrongful Death Claims After Fatal Car Accidents

The loved ones of a person who dies in a traffic accident also generally have the right under Colorado law to seek compensation from those responsible for the collision. 

Money damages in these cases are meant to compensate family members for the financial impact of losing a loved one. That includes compensation for medical and burial costs as well as the loss of the person’s financial and emotional support.

While a wrongful death claim will not bring back your loved one, it can help ease the financial strain that often comes with the loss of a loved one. Taking legal action can also provide a certain level of closure by getting justice and ensuring that those responsible are made accountable for their role in the accident.

State law limits who can pursue a wrongful death case to spouses, children and parents. In the event that a person dies without a spouse, child or parent, the personal representative of his or her estate can sue for wrongful death.

In order to successfully pursue a wrongful death claim you have to be able to prove that a driver or other party is legally liable for your loved one’s death. Fortunately, you do not need to go it alone. An experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and explore your options.

Speak with a Denver Car Accident Lawyer 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car or other crash in Colorado, a Denver car accident lawyer at Levine Law can help you take action. Our attorneys combine decades of experience and a strong track record of success in the courtroom and through negotiated settlements.

We are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver car accident lawyer.

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