Boulder County District Attorney, Stan Garnett, is waiting for the police reports before deciding whether to file charges in a fatal Louisville, Colorado traffic accident. A man and his teenage daughter were killed by a young woman who allegedly drifted into their lane and hit them head on. When people die in traffic accidents, Denver, Adams, and Weld County prosecutors have quite a few different charges to consider with penalties ranging from mild to severe.
For example, on the mild end of things, this young woman could be charged with Boulder County Careless Driving causing Death (C.R.S. 42-4-1402 (2)), which is a fairly minor traffic offense. On the other hand, if prosecutors believe that she was driving recklessly at the time of the accident, or if there is evidence that she was Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs (C.R.S. 42-4-1301), she could be charged with Vehicular Homicide (C.R.S. 18-3-106). Each of these are commonly charged in Larimer, Arapahoe, Jefferson and Douglas County.
This woman reportedly already admitted to Louisville police that she was paying attention to her cell phone when she weaved into the other lane. This is a good example about how making statements to police can come back to haunt you later. It is always best to refrain from making statements to police.
Police reported that the people killed in the accident were not wearing their seatbelts. This will be an extremely important fact going forward, because if the Boulder DA decides to charge this young woman with Vehicular Homicide, they have to prove that it was her actions, and not the negligent actions of the deceased, that caused their deaths. In other words, could use of the seatbelts have saved their lives?
Traffic accidents, even when tragic, may not seem like a big deal at first because you did not intend to hurt anyone. However, it is important to realize that just because you did not intentionally harm someone, negligent and reckless conduct can also result in jail or prison time from criminal charges. The Centennial, Denver, Lakewood, and Broomfield police take as much time as they need to investigate the accident and get their reports to the District Attorney. If you are involved in a traffic accident involving death or injury, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for you. When contacted by the police, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call the O'Malley Law Office today at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.