On Thursday June 5, 58-year-old Denver resident Eugene Guerra was struck and killed in a hit-and-run accident at the corner of East 48th Avenue and Clarkson Street. On Friday afternoon, the man’s 18-year-old nephew identified himself as the driver and surrendered to police.
According to reports, the young man was backing a white Chevrolet pickup truck down 48th Avenue when he struck a trailer parked on the side of the road, pushing it into the back of an unoccupied truck. Police speculate that the teenager struck Guerra before leaving the scene, but may not have realized that he hit anything.
The police located the truck near East 47th Avenue and Race Street on Friday morning, noting that the truck had “significant damage.” A police officer clarified that the driver may have known he hit something, but he may not have known it was a person.
The young man, identified as Johnnie Duran, is being held pending an investigation into charges of vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Hit-and-run accidents can be notoriously difficult to solve, even for experienced police officers. Vehicle damage, like missing side mirrors and body damage, can be an important indicator in identifying the vehicle, but it fails to provide all the answers.
As this case shows, the vehicle does not help officers determine if the driver was intoxicated or distracted when he caused the accident, or answer the question of intent. In some cases, drivers claim they never saw the victim, and leave the scene believing they hit an animal or a piece of debris.
In 2010, authorities declined to charge a 92-year-old California man who hit and killed a 15-year-old boy. The man told authorizes he did not stop, because he “thought he hit an owl.”
After any fatal car accident, the victim’s family can be left overwhelmed by emotional decisions and unanswered questions. Every hit-and-run case is unfortunate, but this case is especially tragic, because the driver was related to the victim. The family is left grieving twice, for both the uncle and nephew.
I Need an Attorney Who Handles Hit-And-Runs in Colorado
In any hit-and-run case, you need a lawyer on your side who knows the law and can help guide you through the trial process.
If you were injured in a hit-and-run or any other type of auto accident, call Metier Law Firm to discuss your legal options. Our attorneys have years of experience defending the victims of reckless drivers, and we can help you get maximum compensation so that your family can focus on their emotional recovery.
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