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Accused drunk driver pleads guilty in 71-year-old woman’s death

At the time of the wreck, the suspect’s blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit for driving.
Credit: District attorney's office for Jefferson and Gilpin counties.
Juan Duran

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — A suspected drunk driver accused of causing a multi-vehicle wrecked that killed a 71-year-old woman in Westminster last year has pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide. 

During an appearance in Jefferson County District Court on Nov 22., Juan Ignacio Duran, 30, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, first-degree assault and attempted first-degree assault. 

On Dec. 28, 2018, Westminster police were called to the area of 10633 Westminster Boulevard on a report of a DUI. Witnesses said the driver almost side-swiped a car before driving over a curb in a parking lot and hitting several bushes. 

When officers arrived they observed the suspect, later identified as Duran, driving northbound in the southbound lanes of traffic. A short time later, he collided with three vehicles. 

The driver of one of the vehicles, Dianne Johnson, 71, was found unconscious and had to be extracted from her vehicle. She was taken to the hospital where she later died from injuries sustained in the crash, the DA's office said. The other drivers were not seriously injured in the wreck. 

At the time of the crash, the DA's office said Duran had a blood alcohol level of .219 – which is more than twice the legal limit. THC was also in his system, according to the DA’s office. 

Duran will be sentenced on Dec. 26 at 1 p.m. He’s facing a prison sentence of 15 to 40 years. 

RELATED: Westminster PD: Person killed by suspected drunk driver in head-on crash

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