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Family members coping with tragic, sudden loss of woman killed in Denver hit-and-run

Starr Martinez was struck and killed by a driver in Denver's West Colfax neighborhood Friday night
Posted at 3:49 PM, Mar 26, 2023

DENVER — Family members are coping with the tragic and sudden loss of their loved one, Starr Martinez, who was the victim of a deadly hit-and-run crash in Denver's West Colfax neighborhood Friday night.

Starr's relatives say she was walking home after hanging out with a friend when she was struck by a vehicle on W. 14th Avenue and N. Federal Boulevard around 8 p.m.

The Denver Police Department says the driver fled the scene and was found a day later in the 5300 block of W. Alameda Avenue in Lakewood.

The suspect has been identified as Francisco Duenas-Colmenares, 42. He is being held on charges of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death. The vehicle was impounded and held for processing.

Denver7 sat down with Starr Martinez's family members who are still processing the senseless tragedy.

"It's heartbreaking," said Manuel Martinez, Starr Martinez's brother-in-law. "She always worried about people, how to make somebody smile. She had these big, beautiful blue eyes that just took you in."

Manuel Martinez said her children were still dealing with the death of their father, who passed away a few years ago from a heart attack, when they learned of their mother's passing.

"It's been hard for us. We as a family are trying to get through this," he said. "She lost her husband three years ago, and their daughters lost their dad. She was the rock, their rock right now. For somebody just to take her out like this is just heartbreaking."

Family members coping with tragic, sudden loss of woman killed in Denver hit-and-run

While the victim's family deals with the unimaginable loss, they're demanding justice.

"He left her on the street and that he needs to pay for it. Stop this nonsense of driving away. If you if you did something, face it. And take responsibility because nobody deserves to be taken out and left on the road like she was," Manuel Martinez said.

They are also coming together to support her children who are now left without parents. They've launched a GoFundMe fundraiser.

"They are faced with the bill that nobody wants to have," Manuel Martinez said.

According to Denver County Jail, Duenas-Colmenares' bond has been set at $10,000.

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