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DPD: Driver stopped and saw injured bicyclist, then drove off after crash

Sam Fairbanks is fighting for his life at Denver Health after the crash Feb. 11 near downtown, his family said.

DENVER — Sam Fairbanks was just two blocks from home when a driver ran him over and left him for dead near downtown Denver, his family said.

Fairbanks was found at the corner of Park Avenue West and Glenarm Place after the crash around 8 p.m. Feb. 11, police said. He had a broken back, broken ribs and a severe brain injury, his stepson said.

Investigators have yet to find the driver in the red or orange Chevrolet Trax who stopped after the crash, got out of the car and then drove off, a Denver Police spokesperson said.

Denver Police said witnesses on the scene provided accounts of what happened. Investigators believe a woman was driving the car, with a man in the passenger seat. They think there might be damage to the front end of the car from the crash.

"I know that the driver was scared. Obviously they were scared; they ran. But my dad was scared and he was left on the pavement to die," Marcos Chavez said. 

Fairbanks, he said, has not made much improvement in more than a week in Denver Health's surgical ICU. He remains sedated and on a ventilator -- a big contrast to how family is used to seeing the man who worked as a general contractor.

"He’s a strong man. He’s a fighter in every way," Chavez said. "To see him like this is jarring. It kind of messes with your equilibrium a little bit."

"He is the man who taught me right from wrong and ethics," Chavez said. "To see someone break him and not step up is such a slap in the face for everything he taught me."

He said doctors at Denver Health have stabilized his stepfather and are working to determine his cognitive function. They had to remove part of his skull and are still draining fluid from his brain.

"It's essentially like a really long waiting game we’re playing right now to see if he’ll wake up," Chavez said. "I would love for him to be able to squeeze my hand, just let me know that he can hear me. That's what I want."

Police asked anyone who saw the crash or has details about the case to call Crime Stoppers.


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