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Family speaks out after fatal hit-and-run reminds them of loved one killed near same Aurora intersection

peoria street hit-and-run jan 26 2023.jpg
Posted at 6:39 PM, Jan 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-26 21:02:31-05

AURORA, Colo. — The fatal hit-and-run crash that killed "an older man" on Peoria Street just north of East Colfax Avenue Thursday morning hit too close to home for a family still grieving the loss of their loved one, who was killed along the same stretch of road six months prior.

"The police knocked on my door explaining that there was a tragic accident and my brother, Lee Brewer, was killed by a hit-and-run driver," Brewer's older sister, Cagney Nelson, told Denver7 News in front of the memorial sign honoring her brother near East 17th Avenue and Peoria Street.

It's near that intersection where Brewer, 57, was struck and killed in August by a driver who drove off and still hasn't been located.

"It's very gross. It's very heartless of this person knowing that you ... hit a human being and didn't even try to even stop to even give this person aid, to seek aid for this person," Nelson said.

RELATED: A look at hit-and-run injury crashes in January around the Denver metro area

While Brewer's family continues to mourn, Nelson wanted to share a message with the family of Thursday's hit-and-run victim.

"I am so sorry for your loss. I know exactly how you feel losing someone by a hit-and-run driver," Nelson said. "I know it's gonna be hard for you and your family, but you have to take one step at a time, day by day."

Thursday's victim has not been identified. He was struck while crossing the street outside a crosswalk near East 19th Ave. and Peoria Street, just yards away from Brewer.

Within the two hours of a Denver7 crew being at the scene, they witnessed about a dozen people crossing outside the crosswalk. The closest crosswalks are more than 100 yards away on both ends of the 19th and Peoria intersection.

In a statement to Denver7, a spokeswoman for the Colorado Department of Human Services, which operates the veteran community living center near that intersection, said in part, "We do know this is a dangerous intersection, we encourage all residents, staff and people in the area to use the crosswalk. We have brought up our concerns to the city and we are currently participating on the Montview Boulevard Stakeholder group with the city of Aurora that is renovating that area."

RELATED: Pedestrian advocates say street design plays a role in crashes

Pedestrian advocates say street design plays a role in crashes

According to the city of Aurora, the city does not have planned projects at the intersection of 19th and Peoria, but will review the recent crash details.

However, an Aurora spokesman issued a statement to Denver7 that said other safety projects nearby are underway.

"City staff continuously monitor crash patterns and identify opportunities to improve safety in our built infrastructure. Two safety projects are currently underway immediately adjacent to the location in question. A project starting construction in the next few months will install a new traffic signal along with pedestrian crossing improvements at the 17th Avenue and Peoria Street intersection. Funding for that project, which will improve five intersections total across the city, was obtained from a Highway Safety Improvement Program grant to mitigate specific correctable crash patterns. The city also has project in design to implement pedestrian safety improvements at eight intersections in Northwest Aurora. The locations chosen were based on a review of crash data, and funding for that project was obtained through the Safer Main Streets grant opportunity."

The statement also said that the city has only received one request to review the intersection since 2010.

Thursday's hit-and-run is just one of several other recent hit-and-run crashes across the Denver metro area.

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