PARKER, Colo. — A driver who was high on oxycontin when he hit and killed a motorcyclist in Parker was sentenced to 8 years in prison on Friday.
Manuel Enrique Frias plead guilty in November to vehicular homicide DUI and leaving the scene of an accident involving death, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office. Other charges in the case were dismissed as part of the plea agreement, the District Attorney's Office said.
On August 19, 2019, Frias hit a motorcyclist, Tom Neubert, at the intersection of North Piney Lake Road and East County Line Road in Douglas County, according to the District Attorney's Office.
Frias exited his vehicle and watched as passersby stopped to help Neubert, the District Attorney said in a letter. Frias then left the scene and entered the nearby Blackstone neighborhood, the letter said.
“The only proper sentence for taking the life of another human being while you are driving high is prison,” said Deputy District Attorney Zoe Laird, who prosecuted the case with Deputy District Attorney Dan Warhola. “Mr. Neubert did nothing wrong and was just on the road, driving to work, as so many of us do. His family is living with the consequences of the defendant’s actions forever, and it is appropriate that the defendant serve time in prison for the deliberate and deadly decisions he made.”
So many friends and family members wanted to give impact statements that the sentencing lasted more than five hours, according to the District Attorney.
“Tom was a special person," one family member said. "He was unassuming, always encouraging, always helpful, always kind, and quick to smile. He was interested in cars, motorcycles, and anything mechanical. He was a skilled mechanic and well known as the guy who could fix anything. Tom’s death has left a gaping hole in our lives. It is a huge loss and (Frias) alone is responsible for it. He decided to get high and to get behind the wheel and drive. There has to be a cost for his reckless actions. He made decisions that took an innocent life…. And as Tom lay splattered on the pavement, (Frias) decided to run.”
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