NewsLocal News


Denver police search for suspect driver in fatal hit-and-run crash

At least 14 deadly hit-and-runs in Denver so far this year, police say
Deadly crash on West Colfax Avenue
Posted at 4:59 PM, Aug 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-18 20:22:52-04

DENVER — The Denver metro saw its latest deadly hit-and-run crash Wednesday night, which resulted in the loss of a woman's life.

"When we passed, it was pretty clearly a person who was on the road and wasn't moving," Jeffrey Cook said Thursday.

He and his girlfriend were driving eastbound on West Colfax Avenue when they saw the woman's body in the middle lane.

"I called 911 and then got a recorded message saying that every dispatcher was busy and to please stay on hold for the next available dispatcher," Cook said.

It was hard, he recalls, seeing drivers going over and around the woman's body while waiting on hold with 911.

"You dial 911 and you expect somebody to answer the phone. And when you think somebody's life is on the line, time is of the essence," he said.

Medics eventually arrived at the scene. Police say the driver who hit the pedestrian never stopped.

These hit-and-run crashes are a concern for the Denver Police Department because of both the criminal and moral aspects of them.

"The one thing that we really never talk about is these victims’ families, they don't have closure now," technician Kurt Barnes said. "There's even a possibility that you might not be at fault, you might be the one who was the innocent driver. You hit somebody, and all of a sudden, now you took off, and you're elevating that to a felony range."

So far this year, DPD says there have been at least 14 deadly hit-and-runs. It's unclear how many of those involved pedestrians.

One of the latest victims is Steve Perkins, a husband and father of two who was hit and killed by a driver while riding his bike on East 13th Avenue and Syracuse Street on Aug. 10.

In Aurora, police report there have been at least two deadly hit-and-run crashes involving pedestrians so far this year, including the crash that killed Jason Lyman, who was walking his dogs at the time.

"I think a lot of it is just fear. "I just hit somebody. I don't know what to do,"" Barnes said. "Really, take a second. Reflect on it. Is it really worth it leaving?"

Cook is still trying to understand how someone could hit a pedestrian and not call for help.

"I don't think most people are like that, but unfortunately, the person who hit this person was," he said.

Police said the suspect vehicle is described as a silver SUV or coupe and it may have light to moderate damage to the front.

Anybody with information on this crash can call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. Tipsters can remain anonymous and could earn a reward up to $2,000.