COLORADO, USA — Hit-and-run crashes investigated by the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) are on pace to top last year's numbers.
According to the agency, there's been a 22% increase for the first three months of the year, with numbers up for each of the first three months over a year ago.
Hit-and-runs jumped from 192 in January 2022 to 260 in January of this year, which is an increase of 35%. In all of 2022, CSP investigated 2,700 hit-and-run crashes, and already through March they've had 729.
“If you hit a vehicle, a person or another piece of property, don’t panic,” stated CSP Chief Matthew C. Packard. “Operating out of fear will only worsen this situation. Stay at the scene, check to make sure you and anyone is injured and call 9-1-1 to report the collision.”
Leaving the scene of the accident can lead to numerous criminal charges, some of which are felonies, in addition to any charges associated with the actual crash, CSP said.
As an example, CSP said if an uninsured driver stayed at a property crash scene, they could be charged with careless driving and no proof of insurance, which would total eight points.
If the same person left the scene and was later found, they would also be charged with fleeing the scene of the accident, which would raise the total number of points to 44 and also include possible jail time of 10 to 90 days and/or a fine.
In 2022, CSP investigated and successfully solved every felony hit-and-run case assigned to their agency. There were 20 total.
So far in 2023, troopers have received eight new felony cases with five of them solved. The most recent unsolved case occurred this past weekend and resulted in two men being killed.
According to CSP, witnesses said two vehicles were "road-raging" prior to the incident, which happened just south of the Larimer County line around 5 p.m. Friday.
The two vehicles involved in the road rage were a Dodge Ram pickup truck and a Chevrolet Camaro.
In video, the pickup can be seen colliding with the left side of the Camaro, spinning it into oncoming traffic. The Camaro was then hit on the passenger side by a Toyota Tundra going north.
The two occupants of the Camaro died on the scene and were identified Monday as 46-year-old Daniel Wright, and 34-year-old James Jacobson. The driver of the Tundra had serious injuries.
The driver of the truck, described as dark red or maroon Dodge Ram 1500 made in 2009 or after fled the scene, CSP said. The vehicle has chrome front and rear bumpers and chrome wheels with damage to the right side of the vehicle. The driver was described as a heavy set, white man about 50 to 60 years old with a white beard.
Anyone with information about the crash or the Dodge driver is asked to call the Denver Colorado State Patrol Dispatch Center at 303-239-4501.
February fatal crash
A crash in El Paso County in February resulted in the death of an 18-year-old motorcylist, CSP said. The crash happened Feb. 1 near Constitution Avenue and Waynoka Place.
According to CSP, the crash happened near a Sonic restaurant and involved a gray Ford F-250 and a motorcyclist. Cameras at the Sonic captured some images of the truck.
The motorcycle rider, an 18-year-old man from Peyton, died at the scene. The driver of the Ford fled the scene, CSP said.
Anyone with information about the crash or the Ford driver is asked to call the Pueblo Colorado State Patrol Dispatch Center at 719-544-2424.
January fatal crash
On Jan. 1, a 19-year-old bicyclist was found dead near Fontaine Boulevard and Metropolitan Street in El Paso County. Investigators believe the victim, who was wearing bright pink clothing, was struck between 2 and 9 a.m.
It’s believed the vehicle involved was a 2015-2017 black Ford Expedition similar to the one pictured below.
Anyone with information about the crash or who may have seen the bicyclist is asked to call the Pueblo Colorado State Patrol Dispatch Center at 719-544-2424.
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