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Nuggets Star’s Brother Charged in Crash That Killed Denver Uber Driver

The brother of a well-known Denver Nuggets basketball player is facing serious criminal charges over an alleged DUI crash that left a local Uber driver dead and her passenger injured.

Coban Porter was charged with four separate felony counts stemming from the Jan. 22 crash, according to a statement by local prosecutors. The 21-year-old Porter is a member of the University of Denver basketball team and the brother of Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr.

The tragic accident occurred in the early morning hours near the university’s campus, the Denver Post reports. Police allege that Porter was driving about 20 miles per hour over the posted speed limit on East Buchtel Boulevard and ran a red light at South University Boulevard. His vehicle slammed into the Uber car, killing the 42-year-old driver and seriously injuring the 47-year-old passenger, according to a police report.

Porter was arrested at the scene of the crash. He had “bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred and mumbling speech, and the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath,” police said in an affidavit obtained by The Denver Post.

Porter now faces charges including vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, DUI and reckless driving. 

The Uber driver who died in the crash had been working for the rideshare service part-time to support her four-year-old son, according to The Denver Post. The boy reportedly was asleep at home when his mother was killed.

The woman “was an incredible human being. She had a zest for life and she loved her family and friends fiercely,” according to a GoFundMe page launched to gather donations for the family. “She was a ‘foodie’ like no other, and she loved traveling to explore new places and countries every opportunity that she had, and she loved to hike and explore.”

Porter is in his sophomore year at the University of Denver, where he has missed the basketball season so far because of an injury. His brother, Michael Porter Jr., is in his fourth year as a key member of the Nuggets.

Coban Porter was released from jail on a $20,000 bond and now awaits trial.

Denver DUI Accidents Put Lives at Risk

The fatal crash appears to be yet another tragic and unnecessary example of the serious safety hazards posed by driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

More than 250 people die in impaired driving crashes in Colorado every year, according to data compiled by the Colorado Department of Transportation. That figure has jumped by as much as 60 percent since 2019, CDOT says.

“We talk a lot about the causal factors that are leading these,”Col. Matthew C. Packard, chief of the Colorado State Patrol, recently told Denver7. “But I’ll tell you the one that continues to boggle my mind, we can read headlines from this weekend about impaired drivers causing fatal crashes.”

More than 20,000 people are arrested for DUI across the state annually, CDOT data show.

It is not just poor decisions involving alcohol that are to blame. Law enforcement officers and the transportation department say they are seeing increasing levels of DUI accidents in which drivers are impaired by marijuana or illegal drugs.

A Denver Post investigation showed that the number of drivers in fatal accidents who tested positive for marijuana skyrocketed by 145 percent in the first three years after the drug was made legal in Colorado. The news outlet said the number is likely even higher because coroners are not required to test people who die in crashes for THC levels.

Impaired Driving is a Crime

Anyone who is busted for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Colorado faces criminal punishment, not to mention civil liability for any injuries and property damage caused.

The punishment varies based on the circumstances. A first-time DUI offender is looking at up to one year in jail, $1,000 in fines, and a nine-month suspension of his or her driver’s license. That is not to mention probation and community service requirements.

The consequences are more severe for people with popped driving with particularly high amounts of alcohol in their system, as well as those who are repeat offenders. When a DUI results in an accident that kills or injures other people, as in the Porter case, the driver is likely to face other criminal charges, like homicide, manslaughter or assault.

Money Damages for People Injured in DUI Crashes

Anyone who has been injured in an accident caused by a drunk driver has the right to seek compensation from the driver, his or her insurer and anyone else responsible for the collision.

A Denver car accident lawyer at Levine Law can help you understand your legal rights and explore your options. We are dedicated to helping people and families who have been injured through no fault of their own.

The money damages typically available in these cases are meant to help put the injured person back in the financial position that he or she was in before the collision. It generally includes compensation for medical bills and property damage, as well as for missed wages and any long-term impact on earning capacity. 

In the tragic case that a person dies in a car accident, his or her loved ones have the right to seek similar compensation for wrongful death. Although there is no amount of money in the world that can ever replace a family member, compensation can help ease some of the financial stress that often accompanies these tragedies.

Speak with a Denver Car Accident Lawyer 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a DUI 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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