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Adams County mother looking for answers, police transparency after her son was killed in crash

Maria Sanchez says police are giving her mixed answers when it comes to what led to her son's fatal crash in Thornton
Jesus Sanchez death in car crash
Posted at 7:53 AM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 09:53:22-04

THORNTON, Colo. — A mother is desperately asking for help figuring out what led to a crash that killed her teenage son in Thornton.

The crash happened on Sept. 2 around 2 a.m. near Thornton Parkway and St. Paul Street.

Mother Maria Sanchez, who lives in unincorporated Adams County, claimed police are giving her mixed messages about what caused the crash that took the life of her 19-year-old son, Jesus Sanchez.

She said that day, Commerce City police contacted her while she was at work.

"When the Commerce City Police Department came in and broke the news to me, one of the police officers actually told me that my son was not at fault, and that the other person involved was at fault," Maria said.

Adams County mother looking for answers, police transparency after her son was killed in crash

Later on, the story changed when she was contacted by officials in Thornton.

"When the detective finally got ahold of me, there was no mention of another vehicle being involved. They're trying to say that my son was speeding and lost control," she said.

Denver7 spoke to Pamela Williams, who lives nearby. She said Thornton police knocked on her door around 4 a.m. following the crash, claiming officials also told her Sanchez was not at fault.

"They did tell me that there was two cars that were involved, that the other car was at fault. They were telling me that car hit the fatal car. And they wanted to know if we had anything about the black car," Williams said.

And she did. Her Ring doorbell captured a black car speeding by with what sounds like blown out tires.

"When I finally got my hands on the police report, there is nothing on there about a car fleeing the scene or another vehicle at all," Maria said.

Denver7 went directly to the Thornton Police Department to get answers.

First, when our reporter and photographer were at the police department, officials said the case was closed and they were not actively looking for a second vehicle. A few hours later, our reporter got a call, where Thornton police corrected the details they had provided earlier, saying the case was, in fact, still open and they believe the car in the Ring doorbell video was involved.

Ofcr. Joseph Walker with the department provided the following statement:

First off, I want to say how deeply saddened we are by the sudden loss of this young man’s life. We mourn alongside his family and loved ones as they try to process what has happened, and learn why.

Here is a summary of our conversations today.

This case is still open. Traffic investigators believe that high speed was a contributing factor in this fatal accident. Until lab results return, it’s unknown if alcohol or drugs were a factor.

Due to evidence at the scene (skid marks), investigators believe that there was a second vehicle involved. To what exact extent is unknown, but our investigators believe that the victim’s vehicle had already lost control when it likely struck this second vehicle. Investigators have no further leads or information as to what kind of vehicle this was, how it was involved, or who might have been driving it. There is residential camera footage of a car driving near the scene, but resolution and lighting make it impossible to identify the car or its driver.

As I said this case remains open, and Thornton PD would like to speak with anyone who might have further information or know of any other witnesses. If you have information, or think you may have seen something, however small, even if you think it might not be important, please call (720) 977-5150."

"She's getting mixed signals from everybody," neighbor Williams said. "And it would just be nice for her, as a mother that just lost her child, to able to know exactly what happened that night."

Maria is asking anyone with information to come forward.

"I just need all the help I can get right now because I feel like it's just a black hole and I have unanswered questions," she said. "I feel like my baby needs my voice right now. I have to be his voice. He's not here to defend himself."