Man sentenced to 12 years in prison for causing deadly crash in Arvada earlier this year

A 44-year-old man was killed and his 2 children were hospitalized in the suspected DUI crash
Kresten Thomsen.JPG
Posted at 1:07 PM, Jun 12, 2024

GOLDEN, Colo. — A man who caused a four-vehicle crash in Arvada that killed a father and sent his two children to the hospital earlier this year was sentenced to 12 years in prison Tuesday.

Juan Alexis Ortega, 23, pleaded guilty in May to one count of vehicular homicide (DUI) and two counts of vehicular assault (DUI), in connection with the Feb. 5, 2024, crash that killed 44-year-old Kresten Wolff Thomsen and seriously injured his two children and the driver of another vehicle.

The crash at 64th Ave and Lamar St. in Arvada happened after Ortega, who was driving a silver GMC pickup truck traveling east on 64th Ave. ran the red light and collided with a maroon Toyota sedan driven by Thomsen, who was going north at the intersection with Lamar St., according to police.

Thomsen and his two children were on their way home from school and only a few miles from home when they were struck by Torres’ vehicle, which was going at approximately 60 mph in a 35 mph zone, prosecutors said.

In court Tuesday, Thomsen was described as a devoted husband and father, as well as a talented composer, writer and musician. Friends and family said he had a “bigger-than-life personality” and was a “model of how to live.”

“The overwhelming love and admiration for Kresten are palpable,” said 1st Judicial Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Hepler. “While no sentence can bring back Kresten or undo the significant trauma experienced by all the people impacted in this tragedy, we hope this consecutive sentence and quick resolution brings some sense of closure to all the victims and Kresten’s loved ones.”

Ortega also spoke in court Tuesday, saying, “If I could trade places with Kreston, I would. … I still can’t believe the harm I’ve done to this family. I hope people believe me that I didn’t mean to hurt anyone.”

“Kresten and the loss of him consumes my every thought,” his wife said in court Tuesday. “I live in a sorrow that is indescribable, unpredictable, and inconsolable. I long for him every minute of every day.”

Denver 7+ Colorado News Latest Headlines | June 12, 11am

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