DENVER – The number of hit-and-run crashes in Colorado this year is outpacing numbers seen in 2022, with nearly a quarter more reported in just the first three months so far, according data from the Colorado State Patrol.
The CSP investigated nearly 3,000 crashes in 2022, with numbers hovering near or in the low 200s from January to March last year. So far in 2023, the number of hit-and-run crashes hovers in the mid 200s, data released by the law enforcement agency shows.
Colorado saw a 35% increase in hit-and-run crashes this year for the month of January compared to last and a 19% and 13% increase in February and March, respectively, when compared to figures from 2022.
So far, Colorado has seen 729 hit-and-runs on state roads and CSP officials are warning of an alarming upward trend in such crashes.
In a news release Tuesday, CSP officials urged drivers to stay at the scene of a crash as leaving the scene and “operating out of fear will only worsen this situation.”
“Leaving the scene of the accident can lead to numerous criminal charges, some of which are felonies, in addition to any charges associated with the actual crash,” a spokesperson said.
Drivers involved in crashes could be charged with careless driving and no proof of insurance which would add eight points to their license, the CSP spokesperson said.
If that person were to leave the scene and they were to be arrested at a later time, the driver would not only potentially face those two initial charges, but they would also be charged with fleeing the scene of the accident, raising the number of points on their license to 44. The driver could also be subjected to a fine or a possible stay in jail for up to three months.
“Hit and run crashes that result in a fatality or serious bodily injury to another person are devastating to families and erode the feelings of safety for all of us across our communities,” stated Chief Packard. “Colorado State Troopers take these crimes seriously and work tirelessly to ensure each case is solved.”
CSP asks for public’s help to solve open cases
Despite solving every “felonious” hit-and-run in 2022 (20), CSP troopers said they’ve investigated eigh so far this year, five of which have been solved. Three crashes remain unsolved.
One of them occurred this past Friday on Highway 287 just south of Larimer County. CSP officials said the fatal crash involved a Dark red/maroon 2009 or newer Dodge Ram 1500 with chrome front and rear bumpers and chrome wheels with damage to the right side of the vehicle. Anyone who saw anything is asked to call the Denver Colorado State Patrol Dispatch Center at 303-239-4501.
In January, a 19-year-old bicyclist was found dead near Fontaine Blvd. and Metropolitan St. in El Paso County following a crash. It’s believed the vehicle involved was a 2015-2017 black Ford Expedition. Anyone who witnessed the crash or knows something about it is asked to call the Pueblo Colorado State Patrol Dispatch Center at 719-544-2424.
Lastly, in February, a crash near Constitution Ave. and Waynoka Pl. in El Paso County left an 18-year-old motorcyclist dead. A 2017-2022 gray Ford F-250left the scene. Anyone with information about the crash or the Ford driver is asked to call the Pueblo Colorado State Patrol Dispatch Center at 719-544-2424.