DENVER – Reid Huffman, 19, died while trying to walk across South Federal Boulevard late Saturday night after he was twice hit by passing drivers. The first driver, according to Denver police, stopped, but the second driver did not.
Monday morning, Eliu Jimenez, 18, made his first court appearance inside a Denver courtroom. A judge set his bond at $50,000. Police believe Jimenez was drunk when he hit Huffman near South Federal and West Amherst.
Huffman was a member of Americorps and was currently based out of Denver's Americorps campus less than a block away from where the hit-and-run occurred.
Connie Griffith has lived in the area for the last three-and-a-half years. She said the pedestrian traffic on South Federal warrants at least one additional crosswalk in the area.
"It's horrible. It's absolutely horrible. They need to put some crosswalks in here," she said. "I see people crossing the street here all of the time."
Huffman was trying to cross Federal in a spot where there are no crosswalks. Monday afternoon, dozens of people could be seen darting in and out of traffic in order to get from one side of the busy road to the other. There are no crosswalks between West Dartmouth Avenue and West Yale. The half mile stretch borders the old Lorretto Heights campus. Americorps shares the land with Colorado Heights University among others.
Denver police spokesperson Sonny Jackson said it's quite possible the first driver to hit Huffman could face no charges at all because she stopped.
"The odds of being charged when you stop are a whole lot less," Jackson said.
Joshua Shepherd, 20, was a friend of Huffman's and called his fellow Americorps member a great person with a wonderful smile and an innate ability to get people to smile.
"It's not going to be the same now that he's gone," Shepherd said.
Huffman's family released this statement to 9NEWS on Monday afternoon:
"Reid has always had a servant heart. HE was always putting others before himself. His desire to be a part of Americorps was to help people to make a difference in their lives. He was a kind, loving and giving young man and loved dearly by his family. We are all devastated by his death, but know in our hearts he now lives in heaven with his savior Jesus. We want to thank everyone for your kind words and prayers."
9Wants to Know is working jointly with I-News to document what some are calling a hit-and-run epidemic. According to our analysis, there have been seven hit-and -runs on Federal Boulevard within a six block radius of Huffman's death since 2011.
In addition, our investigation documented the location of the more than 1,300 hit-and-runs between 2011 and 2013 in Denver, Aurora and Lakewood.
Fatal Hit-and-Run 2011-2013:
Metro Denver Hit-and-Run Injuries 2011-2013: