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DA: Man charged in fatal crash was drunk, didn’t have driver’s license

Leonardo Cano-Merida is accused of barreling into a pedestrian and then driving into a field before rolling over, killing the passenger in his vehicle.
Credit: Courtesy DPD
Leonardo Cano-Merida is accused of driving drunk and without a license during a fatal crash.

DENVER – A man has been charged with vehicular homicide in wake of a crash at a southwest Denver intersection over the weekend that left a passenger in his vehicle dead and gravely injured a pedestrian who had been walking on the sidewalk at the time.

Leonardo Cano-Merida, 49, is also charged with one count of leaving the scene of an accident- death, vehicular assault and driving under restraint, the Denver District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Thursday morning.

The crash occurred just before 10:30 a.m. Sunday near the intersection of South Federal Boulevard and West Harvard Avenue, according to DPD.

Prosecutors claim that Cano-Merida lost control of his vehicle and hit a pedestrian on the sidewalk, before driving his vehicle into a field.

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The vehicle rolled over, according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office, and the man in his passenger seat was killed.

The passenger has since been identified as 20-year-old Alfredo Jimenez-Rodriguez.

The DA’s office accuses Cano-Merida of running away before he was apprehended. According to the news release, he “exhibited indications of alcoholic impairment.”

He didn't have a valid driver's license at the time of the crash, according to prosecutors.

Cano-Merida has a criminal history in Colorado dating back to 2004, according to Colorado Bureau of Investigation records.

He was arrested for misdemeanor DUI in 2004, and failure to appear and careless driving in 2007, court records say.

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