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Denver Hit-and-Run Crashes Spike in Dangerous 2023 Start

The new year started on a grim note across the Denver metro area, as a string of hit-and-run accidents in January left a trail of injured and dead local residents.

At least 10 hit-and-run crashes resulting in injury or death occurred between Jan. 1 and Jan. 26, according to an in-depth analysis by Denver7 360. At least 10 people were injured and another two were killed in the collisions, the news outlet reported.

Car accidents happen in a wide variety of ways in Denver and across Colorado. They are caused by a number of different factors, from hazardous weather and poor road conditions to driver distraction, intoxication or just plain error. 

Hit and run crashes, as the name suggests, happen when a driver involved in a collision simply speeds off rather than staying at the scene and calling for police and emergency medical service. That often delays people injured in the crash from getting the medical attention they need, which can mean the difference between life and death.

In Denver alone, there were 54 hit-and-run accidents that resulted in serious injuries last year, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. A total of 17 of those collisions resulted in at least one death.

New Year’s Hit and Run Kills Rideshare Passenger

The string of crashes started early on New Year’s Day with a fatal hit-and-run accident in Thornton.

A woman was struck by two vehicles on Interstate 25 shortly after midnight, Denver7 reports. She was reportedly sideswiped by a truck, which continued on after the collision, and then hit by a car while lying in the road.

The woman reportedly had gotten out of a rideshare vehicle, which stopped by the side of the road when another passenger became ill. She and her friends were in the rideshare vehicle on their way home from a New Year’s Eve party, Denver7 reports.

“The driver pulled over along I-25 between E. 144th Avenue and Highway 7 before the passengers ended the ride,” Stephanie Butzer writes for Denver7.

The truck driver later turned himself in, was arrested and charged with hit-and-run involving death. He reportedly told cops that he did not realize he had struck a person but instead thought someone had thrown something at his car.

A Deadly Month in Denver Hit and Run Accidents

Five hit-and-run accidents happened within Denver city limits in January.

Four people were seriously injured when they were struck by a car near 18th Street and Wazee Street, Denver7 reports. The driver sped away but was later apprehended by police. He reportedly told the cops that he had purposely mowed down the group after getting into a verbal altercation with them.

The man was arrested and charged with four counts of attempted murder.

Denver Police are still looking for the drivers involved in at least two other hit-and-run crashes during the month. 

The driver of a dark Chevrolet Camaro was traveling westbound on California Street on Jan. 12 when the vehicle struck a pedestrian crossing at 22nd Street, Denver7 reports. The pedestrian was sent to the hospital with serious injuries.

Just one day later, the driver of a small sport utility vehicle reportedly ran down a pedestrian on Colfax Avenue just east of Grant Street. The pedestrian was seriously injured in the collision, according to police.

The other hit-and-run crashes involved a Nissan sedan striking a truck on I-25, ramming it into a barrier wall, and an accident near Cheesman Park.

Leaving the Scene of an Accident in Denver is a Crime

Staying at the scene of a crash after it happens is not only the right thing to do. It is also required by law in Colorado, even if no one is hurt in the collision.

A driver who flees the scene after being involved in an accident that does not cause serious injuries faces criminal punishment of up to 10 days in jail and fines ranging from $300 to $1,000. In the event that a crash does result in serious injury, a hit-and-run driver is looking at a felony charge. That comes with two to six years in prison and as much as $500,000 in fines.

Fatal hit-and-run crashes are the most serious criminal offenses and come with the steepest punishment. A driver in a hit-and-run that causes death faces four to 12 years behind bars and up to $750,000 in fines.

Even if they are not involved in the accident, witnesses should call 911 when they see a crash happen. They should also take down as much information as possible about the accident and the vehicles involved.

Legal Rights for People Injured in Hit-and-Run Crashes

Anyone who is injured in a car accident in Colorado has the right to seek compensation from those responsible, regardless of whether it is a hit-and-run or another type of crash. An experienced Denver car accident lawyer at our firm can help you identify those responsible and maximize your monetary recovery.

Drivers in Colorado owe others on the road a legal responsibility to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. That means complying with traffic laws and refraining from dangerous activity like aggressive driving and drinking or texting behind the wheel. 

A driver that does not live up to this responsibility is likely to be liable for any accidents that happen as a result. 

Speak with a Denver Car Accident Lawyer 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a hit and run 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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