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Man pleads guilty to hitting, killing tow-truck driver

1:34 PM, Feb 29, 2012   |    comments
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Zachary Dobler, 28, wasn't allowed to drive without a lockout device for alcohol monitoring when he took his parents' car and drove right into 41-year-old Alan Eugene Dilley, a driver for Connolly's Towing, near 58th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard, on July 31.

The impact sent Dilley's body 121 feet "in a northwesterly direction," according to a police report. He was taken to the hospital and died a short time later.

Dobler pleaded guilty to one felony count of vehicular homicide and one felony count of leaving the scene of an accident involving death.

This isn't the first time Dobler has been in trouble with the law.

Dilley was working on a separate DUI crash at 58th and Wadsworth just after 1:30 a.m. on July 31 when he was struck.

Dobler drove through cones meant to reroute traffic in the intersection, which was lit with flashing lights from emergency vehicles, hitting Dilley without braking.

Police dispatch records indicate the impact was seen by a number of people including an officer who frantically called out "the car should have front-end damage!" to other officers on the police radio.

Another officer was able to spot the SUV about a minute after a few blocks away at 64th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard.

Dobler told officers he saw police lights to the side of him and someone in the road in front of him. Dobler says he didn't realize what he had hit after going through the intersection and was planning on stopping in the next intersection to check the damage.

This wasn't the first time Dobler was in trouble with the law.

In 2009, Dobler was in a Buena Vista jail on a 2008 burglary case out of Westminster serving the early stages of a four-year sentence. In July 2009, he wrote a letter to a Jefferson County judge asking for another chance through a reconsideration of his sentence.

"I was drinking that night [in 2008] and if I did not drink I know I wouldn't have acted the way I did," he wrote according to the hand-written letter obtained by 9NEWS in August. "When I drink I become irresponsible and I lose the voice in my head that says, Zach, this isn't right.... Therefore I do not need to drink and will never have to worry about being in trouble again."

"Sending me to prison was like giving me a second chance," he continued. "It has oppen(sic) my eye (sic). This time around I will do it right. I fill(sic) better now than I ever have. I fill(sic) so alive."

In 2010, a Jefferson County judge agreed to reconsider his sentence and subsequently gave Dobler 30 months of intensive-supervised probation.

Dobler was still on probation when he killed Dilley.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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