WELD COUNTY, Colo. — A Centennial man who pleaded guilty to a charge in connection to a deadly crash that killed a trooper last March was sentenced Wednesday.
John Carpenter was sentenced to 8.5 years supervised probation, 850 hours of community service and 90 days in Weld County Jail, according to the Weld County District Attorney's Office.
Carpenter in October pleaded guilty to failure to exercise due care when approaching a stationary vehicle, a felony. A second charge, careless driving, was dismissed.
In an earlier interview with 9NEWS, Carpenter said the wind along Interstate 76 that day was strong enough to blow his left tires "completely off of the asphalt" just ahead of the time of the crash that killed 52-year-old Colorado State Patrol Cpl. Daniel Groves.
Groves was outside his patrol car on the rural stretch of highway helping someone whose vehicle had gone off the road when he was hit and killed.
That was during the "bomb cyclone," a March blizzard that brought extremely strong wind gusts and whiteout conditions to much of the Front Range and Eastern Plains, including the area along I-76 where Groves was assisting the motorist.
Carpenter said he was driving his Volvo station wagon from Chicago westbound on I-76.
"My car was at the mercy of the wind," Carpenter said in an earlier interview.
At the time of the crash, CSP said they investigated both poor driving conditions and speed as factors in the crash.
Hundreds of law enforcement officials and community members gathered on March 20 to honor Groves at a memorial service in Longmont.
“On that day, we lost a tremendous community asset,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wrenn said during Wednesday’s sentencing hearing. “We didn’t only lose one of the best in the law enforcement community, but his family lost their glue, as one of the family members put it.”
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