KUSA - If the latest statistics mean anything, two or three Coloradans will die this month due to the actions of a hit-and-run driver. Two or three more will die next month. And two or three more will die the month after that.
You don't need to tell Pricilla Ingebrigtsen that. In 2012, someone hit her adopted son as he and his fiancée were on a motorcycle. Jesse Pringle died a few days later after Pricilla and her family made the decision to cut off life support.
He was one of 34 to die as the result of a hit-and-run in 2012.
"It's like a grenade goes off inside of you when you lose a child," Pricilla told me recently.
Quite frankly, it's a feeling I never want to get to know personally.
There are countless reasons why we are starting what I hope will be a year-long project with I-News on the issue of hit and runs, but I can say without hesitation Pricilla's story will provide us with another reason to keep telling it.
"We have to be better than that," she told me.
Between 2011 and 2013, about 1,300 people in Lakewood, Aurora, and Denver were either injured or killed in hit-and-run accidents, according to data obtained by I-News reporter Burt Hubbard. That's averages out to one hit-and-run involving injury a day. Granted, most of the injuries were minor, but the figures are quite unsettling. We have to be better than one serious hit-and-run a day, right?
For far too long, I have covered hit-and-runs in a way that likely failed to provide proper context of the issue. It wouldn't be too much to say I have covered many of them in a haphazard way. Hopefully, that will come to an end with this project.
There are countless reasons why people hit and then subsequently run. I suspect the further we look into this issue, the more we will learn on the problem, but beyond that, we can't forget there are consequences to the actions of people who decide to leave the scene of an accident.
I saw one of those consequences when I asked Pricilla Ingebrigtsen about the tattered paper bag that was in a box filled with various memories and mementoes of her son. She smiled almost imperceptibly when she started to open it up. She was thinking about Jesse. It was undeniable.
She then took out one blue sock and then another. There was an earring attached to one of them.
"That's what you received from the hospital?" I asked.
"That's what was left of a life," she replied.
Eighteen months after the death of her son, no one has been held accountable for his death. There are others. In the months that follow, we will try to bring you their stories. Because, in the end, I believe we can be better than what we've shown so far.
In the meantime, should you find yourself wanting to help us out with this, I offer you this suggestion: #JustStop.
Use it socially.
When you see it, spread it. And let the rest of Colorado know only cowards hit and run.