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Woman who hit, killed construction flagger in RiNo takes plea deal

The driver accused in a 2021 hit-and-run in Denver that resulted in the death of Jose Ocampo Sr. pleaded guilty Thursday to vehicular homicide.

DENVER — A driver who was charged with hitting two construction flaggers in the River North Arts District, killing one of them, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count in the case, according to court records.

Kathleen Sugaski, 44, pleaded guilty in Denver District Court to one count of DUI vehicular homicide in the hit-and-run crash that killed Jose Ocampo Sr. and injured another person. Four other charges were dismissed, court records show.

Sugaski is scheduled for sentencing May 13, records show.

About 2 p.m. Sept. 7, an SUV driver hit two construction workers near the intersection of 29th Street and Arkins Court and left the scene. A Medina Alert was issued, and the SUV was found about three hours after the crash, abandoned a few blocks away.

> Video above: Son mourns loss of construction flagger hit, killed in Denver -- aired Sept. 10.

RELATED: Construction flagger killed in hit-and-run crash identified, suspect arrested

The Denver Police Department arrested Sugaski at 5:50 p.m. that day in the area of 31st Street, according to the probable cause statement in the case.

The PC statement said Sugaski showed signs of impairment, including slurred speech, alcoholic odor on her breath and swaying.

Ocampo's family said he was a husband, father and grandfather. He loved fishing, gardening and teaching Spanish to his grandkids.

“My dad was a very good person," Jose Ocampo Jr. said days after the crash. "He was loved in his community, in his church, in his job, and in his family. She just broke this family, and there’s nothing we can do – no money, no nothing is going to bring him back."

RELATED: Son mourns loss of construction flagger hit, killed in Denver

According to court records, the charges dismissed in Sugaski's case were:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving death
  • Vehicular homicide-reckless driving
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving serious injury
  • Vehicular assault-reckless
Credit: Denver Police

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