(COLO) – The Colorado State Patrol is seeing an alarming upward trend of hit-and-run crashes across the state of Colorado. When looking at all hit-and-run crashes investigated by the Colorado State Patrol, including property, there was a 22% increase in the first quarter of 2023.
“If you hit a vehicle, a person, or another piece of property, don’t panic,” stated Chief Matthew C. Packard, Colorado State Patrol. “Operating out of fear will only worsen this situation. Stay at the scene, check to make sure you and anyone are 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. One possible example is if an uninsured motorist stayed at a property crash scene, he could be charged with careless driving and no proof of insurance which would total 8 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. Whether the driver doesn’t have a license, is impaired, or drove carelessly/recklessly and for whatever reason leaves the scene of a crash, although serious in nature, it pales in comparison to the charges he could face by leaving the scene.
Statewide Hit & Run Crashes Investigated by the Colorado State Patrol
January: 2022 = 192, 2023 = 260. 35% increase
February: 2022 = 201, 2023 = 240. 19% increase
March: 2022 = 203, 2023 = 229. 13% increase
April: 2022 = 186
May: 2022 = 230
June: 2022 = 206
July: 2022 = 220
August: 2022 = 258
September: 2022 = 257
October: 2022 = 239
November: 2022 = 204
December: 2022 = 304
Total = 2,700 (729 in January - March)
“Hit-and-run crashes that result in a fatality or serious bodily injury to another person are devastating to families and erode the feelings of safety for all of us across our communities,” stated Chief Packard. “Colorado State Troopers take these crimes seriously and work tirelessly to ensure each case is solved.”
In 2022, the Colorado State Patrol investigated and successfully solved every ‘felonious’ hit-and-run cases (20 in total) assigned. So far in 2023, troopers have received eight new cases with five solved. The most recent unsolved case occurred this past weekend on May 19, 2023, and resulted in two men being killed. Please help us solve these three remaining open cases.
Public Request for Assistance in the Following Open Fatal Hit and Run Crashes
May 19, 2023 - Reference Case# 1D232018
Around 5:00 p.m., a 4-vehicle fatal hit and run occurred on Highway 287 just south of Larimer County. The run vehicle is believed to be a Dark red/maroon 2009 or newer Dodge Ram 1500 with chrome front and rear bumpers and chrome wheels with damage to the right side of the vehicle. The driver is believed to be a heavy-set, white male, 50-60 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.
January 1, 2023 - Reference Case# 2B230002
Crash near Fontaine Blvd. and Metropolitan St. in El Paso county, where a 19-year-old bicyclist was found dead. Investigators believe the crash happened between the hours of 2 am and 9 am on January 1. It’s believed the vehicle involved was a 2015-2017 black Ford Expedition. The bicyclist was wearing bright pink clothing. 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.
February 1, 2023 - Reference Case# 2B230337
A crash near Constitution Ave. and Waynoka Pl. in El Paso county involved a 2017-2022 gray Ford F-250 and a black Yamaha motorcycle in front of the nearby Sonic fast food restaurant. The driver of the motorcycle was an 18-year-old male from Peyton, Colorado and was pronounced deceased on the scene. The driver of the Ford fled the scene. 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.
ABOUT THE COLORADO STATE PATROL
Since our origin in 1935, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) has focused on preserving human life and protecting property within our communities. Our 1,100 members embody the core values of Honor, Duty, and Respect in their daily jobs. In addition to our expertise in motor vehicle safety on the state’s roadways, the CSP is responsible for the Governor and other dignitaries’ protection, commercial motor vehicle enforcement, hazardous materials, homeland security, communications, investigative services, criminal interdiction, community education, aviation operations, and more.