Denver area sees alarming increase in reported hit-and-run crashes in 2017

Posted at 4:34 PM, Sep 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-18 21:36:59-04

DENVER – The Denver metro area is seeing an alarming increase in the number of hit-and-run crashes in 2017 when compared to the past two years.

According to our media partners at the Denver Post, there have already been 4,676 hit-and-runs reported this year. That’s an average of 546 per month and 18 per day. In 2016, Denver averaged 530 per month, and in 2015 the city averaged 482 per month.

The most hit-and-runs in any neighborhood in Denver happen in the historic neighborhood of Baker.

The Post’s figures show that neighborhood has 204 reports of hit and runs in 2017.

The reports involve both vehicle-on-vehicle and auto-pedestrian crashes, but it’s the pedestrian incidents that have some people worried.

“There’s been several times where I’ve actually laid my hand on the hood of someone’s car while I was crossing the street because they stopped last minute,” said Sara Brown, who walks to work in the Baker neighborhood every day. “It’s happened more than five times in the last two months.”

Denver7 told Brown about the increase in hit-and-run reports in the metro area.

“You know, accidents happen, but it’s not an accident anymore if you leave the crash,” Brown said. “We shouldn’t be taking off if we hit anything. People need to take responsibility and make sure everyone is alright.”

Denver7 spoke to the family of one victim of a hit-and-run Monday. Steven Glade was hit and killed by a driver in August near Coors Field.

“My brother is not coming back from that,” said Jim Glade, the brother of Steven. “We’re going to have to deal with it how it is.”

The driver was fortunately arrested days later.

“It’s something that isn’t right,” Brown said. “I’ve heard about that when it happened last month. People need to be responsibility and it’s just terrible that things are getting worse.”

On Monday, Denver police announced it had arrested 20-year-old Adrian Valdez on vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident charges in relation to a hit0and-run crash that happened early Sunday morning near 14th and Franklin.