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Woman fled fatal crash scene by carjacking witness, affidavit says

The victim was identified as 86-year-old Joseph Janicke of Eldorado Springs.

BOULDER, Colo. — A woman whose driver's license was revoked is accused of causing a fatal crash and fleeing the scene by stealing the vehicle of a witness who had stopped to help, according to an affidavit for the woman's arrest.

Amanda Garcia, 34, who admitted she smoked fentanyl and drank a bottle of schnapps prior to the crash, faces numerous charges including murder, DUI, assault, robbery and motor vehicle theft, the affidavit says.

The head-on crash near the intersection of South Boulder Road and South 68th Street was reported around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to Colorado State Patrol Trooper Josh Lewis.

The Boulder County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) said it involved a Jeep and a Toyota 4Runner. The victim in the Jeep was pronounced dead at the scene, according to CSP. The Boulder County coroner's office identified him as 86-year-old Joseph Janicke.

Dash camera video from another driver shows Garcia passing that vehicle on the paved shoulder. Multiple other witnesses reported seeing her vehicle driving between 70 and 90 mph and passing on the shoulder before the crash, the affidavit says.

Responding troopers reported there was no one inside the 4Runner. An injured passenger had already been taken to the hospital, and troopers were told that the driver, identified as Garcia, initially tried to walk away from the scene.

She attempted to stop a Toyota Tacoma, the affidavit says, but the Tacoma driver did not stop.

She then walked past a witness who had gotten out of his Ford Explorer to assist with the crash. While walking past the witness, she said something like "I need to get out of here," and then stole the witness' Ford Explorer by force, the affidavit says.

Garcia was found in the stolen vehicle and pursued by law enforcement, according to the affidavit. During that chase, she "drove recklessly" and rammed another vehicle, the affidavit says.

Stop sticks were deployed in an effort to stop Garcia before the vehicle was eventually pinned and she was taken into custody at the Safeway at 2798 Arapahoe Avenue around 11:45 a.m.

Garcia was checked out and cleared medically after being taken into custody, according to CSP.

Troopers responded to the hospital and attempted to speak with Garcia, but when asked if she willing to talk with them she responded, "not without a lawyer." 

The trooper observed Garcia speaking with "combatively" with medical staff and reported that her speech was "slow, slurred and methodical." Investigators spoke with the ambulance team who took Garcia to the hospital and learned that Garcia told a paramedic she had used fentanyl and alcohol earlier in the day.

Based on those statements, a warrant was approved for a blood draw, and during it, Garcia made a "spontaneous utterance" about going through withdrawal and disclosed that she had smoked a total of 10 fentanyl pills and drank a bottle of schnapps, according to the affidavit. 

About 20 minutes before the crash, troopers learned that Garcia was allegedly involved in two thefts in Boulder, one at Sunglass Hut and one at a Home Depot store. As she left the Home Depot, the affidavit says, she was seen striking multiple shopping carts.

RELATED: Suspect accused of shooting man during Greeley carjacking now in custody

At the time of Garcia's arrest, her license was revoked and she was wanted on felony warrants out of Lakewood for aggravated robbery and motor vehicle theft.

RELATED: Person shot by Larimer County deputies after chase


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