Four Colorado First Responders Struck by Suspected Drunk Driver
Two police officers and two firefighters were recently injured when a suspected drunk driver plowed into a crash investigation scene near Commerce City, according to reports.
The early December accident happened after dark on Interstate 76, CBS Denver reports. The cops and firefighters were on the scene responding to an earlier crash when a car bulldozed through barricades and struck them.
Two of the responders – a Commerce City police officer and a South Adams County Fire Department firefighter – remained in the hospital days after the crash.
The driver, a 24-year-old Brighton man, was later arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
Local officials called on drivers to be more responsible in the wake of the crash. That means staying off the road while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, they said.
“This has to stop,” Commerce City City Manager Jason Rogers said at a press conference following the collision. “We as a community have to come together. We have to make wise decisions. We have to be vocal. We have to be present. And we need to make sure we’re thinking about the safety of all of our members of our community at all times.”
The responders were on the scene after a single-car accident on I-76, according to CBS Denver. They had to be transported to the hospital by other first responders.
“We are blocking the roads. We have got giant vehicles. We’ve got people directing traffic. We have cones,” Colorado State Patrol Master Sgt. Gary Cutler told CBS Denver. “And this is still not enough that we cannot keep people out of these zones where they’re hurting our personnel,” he said.
Drunk Drivers are Killers
The accident is yet another tragic and unnecessary example of the scourge of drunk driving. Make no mistake: Anyone who gets behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is putting everyone on the road at risk.
“We’ve talked, we’ve talked and we’ve talked and nobody’s listening here,” Cutler, the Colorado State Patrol official, told CBS Denver.
“We still get these DUIs that are coming out. It comes down to laziness and being self-absorbed,” he said. “There’s no reason that anybody needs to be drinking and driving. There are way too many ways out there that you can get a rideshare, a friend, or stay somewhere. But if you’re going to drink, you absolutely can not be getting out behind the wheel and actually going out there and hurting people.”
More than 250 people die in impaired driving crashes in Colorado every year, according to data compiled by the Colorado Department of Transportation. That figure has surged by roughly 44 percent in the last four years, CDOT says.
Some recent crashes highlight the threat posed by drinking and driving.
A local father of seven was killed in May, for instance, in an accident near I-70 in Aurora. The man was just five minutes away from his home when a suspected drunk driver plowed into his vehicle, according to news reports.
Two months later, a man accused of drunk driving in a crash that killed two local high school students was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison after being convicted on criminal charges stemming from the collision. The pair of 17-year-olds were days away from starting their senior years at Castle View High School when the fatal accident happened.
More than 20,000 people are arrested for DUI across the state every single year.
Those arrests and the prosecution of people who make the reckless decision to get behind the wheel while intoxicated are of little comfort to anyone injured in drunk driving accidents.
Fortunately, you have the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the crash. And you do not need to go it alone: An experienced Denver car accident lawyer at our firm can help you maximize your compensation.
Money Damages for People Injured in Car Accidents
Anyone who is injured in a car accident in Colorado has the right to seek compensation from those responsible for the collision, whether it is a drunk driver or another person or entity.
The money damages often available in these cases is designed to put an injured person back in the financial position that he or she was in before the accident. That includes compensation for medical bills, property damage, missed wages and any impact on your earning capacity.
To get that compensation, you generally have to be able to prove negligence. This legal theory holds people and entities responsible when they do not live up to certain “duties of care.”
State law requires drivers in Colorado to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner. That means complying with traffic laws and refraining from dangerous activity behind the wheel.
A driver who does not meet this responsibility – including by driving drunk – is likely to be deemed negligent and legally responsible for any injuries that happen as a result.
In a tragic situation in which a person is killed in a traffic accident, his or her loved ones can pursue a wrongful death claim.
No amount of money can ever allow you to go back in time and stop an accident from happening. A wrongful death action can, however, help ease the financial strain that often comes with the loss of a loved one. It can also provide a certain level of closure by getting justice and ensuring that those responsible are made accountable for their actions.
Speak with a Denver Car Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a road rage or other crash in Colorado, a Denver car accident lawyer at Levine Law can help you take action. Our attorneys combine decades of experience and a strong track record of success in the courtroom and through negotiated settlements.
We are pleased to serve clients throughout Colorado, including in Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft. Collins and Loveland. Call us at 303-333-8000 or contact us online to speak with a Denver car accident lawyer.