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Following deadly crash, neighbors asking for change along East Colfax

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Posted at 4:56 PM, Apr 18, 2022

DENVER — A car crash in Denver's East Colfax neighborhood ended in tragedy Sunday afternoon after police say a man was killed.

"It's the worst crash I've seen," Matt Pierce said.

He and his wife, who's a nurse, heard the crash from their nearby home and rushed out to help.

"My wife checked the person in the car to make sure that they were actually deceased or if they needed assistance, and they clearly were deceased," Pierce said.

On Monday, debris remained scattered on the front lawn of Kurt Dahlin's home. He says the driver who crashed into the man's car ran the light, although Denver police hasn't confirmed that.

"Since 1988, I've just seen so many collisions here," he said. "It is indicative of what we see here quite often."

Neighbors say drivers speeding through and running the lights, both on North Syracuse Street and the 13th and 14th Avenue cross streets, has been a years-long issue.

"I've been able to see how much worse it really is because I'm home all day long," Pierce said.

He's snapped photo after photo of the aftermath of multiple crashes, showing the seriousness of the problem.

"I have a real concern for my community. It's not just that I don't feel safe walking my neighborhood anymore, it's that I worry about the people that I see in this neighborhood who regularly walk here every day," Pierce said.

Several years ago, he reached out to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and got a response from a traffic engineer, but he says nothing has changed.

"There are supposed to be bump-outs installed and a lot more traffic calming initiatives happening, and I haven't seen any of that happen," he said.

Denver7 reached out to DOTI to ask how it's addressing these long-standing concerns. A spokesperson shared the following statement:

"The DOTI team will review the police report from this crash and visit the site to determine if there are any near-term or long-term engineering improvements that can be made."

Pierce and Dahlin hope something is done sooner than later.

"What I want to see happen is that we just get some accountability and some common sense changes for these streets that makes sense to try to prevent this from happening again," Pierce said.

Denver Police says the deadly crash is still under investigation, and no charges have been filed. On April 20, the Denver Office of the Medical Examiner identified the victim as Victor Hallcy Sr., 60.