KUSA - An 81-year-old motorist – who had been struggling with issues that affected her ability to drive – was legally drunk the day she hit and killed a 14-year-old boy in July, 9Wants To Know has learned.
Cole Sukle died and a friend of his was injured after they were hit early the afternoon of July 13 as they stood in the bike lane and along the sidewalk near the corner of East Yale Way and South Madison Street.
The driver, Patricia Livingston, continued on several blocks, weaving in and out of the oncoming lane, before crashing into Robert H. McWilliams Park, according to a police report on the incident. Livingston, a longtime trustee at the University of Denver, suffered multiple injuries in the crash and died ten days later.
According to a report compiled by a pathologist in the Denver coroner’s office, Livingston had a blood-alcohol level of .135 – well above the level of .08 at which a motorist is considered intoxicated under Colorado law. The blood test was administered as Livingston was being treated after the crash at Denver Health Medical Center, although it is not clear from the report exactly what time that occurred.
Andy Boian, a spokesman for Livingston’s family, said he did not know the circumstances surrounding the woman’s alcohol use.
“They are obviously still in mourning over the loss of a young life, Cole Sukle,” Boian said. “The fact remains there was a young life lost in this and that is the most tragic of all.”
Attempts to reach Sukle’s father were not successful Friday afternoon.
Livingston had initially been charged with careless driving causing death, but the case was dropped after she died.
Livingston had been involved in another car accident last October, 9Wants To Know reported in July.
In that incident, a Denver police report showed she “drove carelessly,” crashed into a car that was stopped in traffic, and then left the scene. She was not ticketed, in part, because the motorist she hit did not want to press charges “as the driver was an elderly female.”
After the crash last October, according to the report, Livingston’s family told police she was “beginning to have issues driving ... they (the family) have taken steps to hire her a driver so this will not be an issue in the future.”
Boian said family members had discussed Livingston’s driving with her, including talking about taking away her keys. However, she felt she was able to drive herself short distances. Her son and grandson drove her on the highway, at night and on weekends.
A friend who was with Sukle, 13-year-old Jack Mahoney, suffered multiple injuries but survived. Another friend was with them but was not hit.
Livingston served at a trustee at DU for 32 years before retiring in June.
Contact 9NEWS reporter Kevin Vaughan with tips about this or any story: email@example.com or 303-871-1862.