Regardless of the warnings, people here in Colorado and elsewhere continue to get behind the wheel after drinking. They risk their lives and the lives of others and could cause fatal motor vehicle accidents that are ordinarily entirely preventable. When that happens, families are torn apart and people lose their lives meaninglessly.
Police suspect alcohol in a recent crash involving a bicyclist who died after being struck by a vehicle on June 23 early in the morning. As the 37-year-old man lay dying, the 33-year-old driver fled the scene. Reports do not indicate how long the victim was laying in the street before being discovered. He succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
As for the driver, police say they caught up with the vehicle and its driver, who police suspect of impairment. In his arrest affidavit, police asked for, and received, permission to draw blood for testing to determine whether he was, in fact, intoxicated at the time of the crash. At the end of the month, the driver was arrested and charged with DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and reckless driving, along with vehicular homicide. It turns out that he was also driving without a valid license.
If Colorado prosecutors secure convictions for charges connected to the bicycle rider's death, they could be used by his family in a wrongful death claim as evidence that the driver's actions caused the death of their love one. If the court rules in favor of surviving family members, they could receive an award of damages. Any restitution received could help pay for the expenses and other financial losses that occur in fatal motor vehicle accidents.