A man who survived a fatal car crash near Boulder last summer told investigators the driver was distracted before the accident. The survivor said he was not behind the wheel, as the negligent driver claimed, at the time the Chevrolet Impala flipped over on a highway northwest of Denver.
The crash victim said the friends - the 25-year-old driver and two 21-year-old passengers - had been partying at clubs before the car accident. Alcohol was detected in the driver and passenger's systems. Neither man's blood alcohol content was above the state intoxication limit of 0.08 when the tests were administered, but troopers believe the driver was drunk at the time of the fatality, two hours before the tests.
The passenger told Colorado troopers the driver was distracted by a GPS system just before the Impala's tire struck the median. The driver reacted by suddenly steering right. The response spun the Impala back into the median. The car flipped over sending a female passenger through the sunroof. The overturned car crushed and killed the young woman.
The surviving victims' blood stains established where the men were sitting when the car rolled. The accused man's claim that he was not driving failed to match what investigators discovered. The defendant's blood was found on the driver's side door, consistent with the head wound the man suffered in the crash.
A social media post by the defendant after the accident stated the man had been driving. A Facebook post asserted the driver had seen a deer.
The defendant recently entered a not guilty plea to vehicular homicide, careless driving and DUI charges. He was jailed on $100,000 bond to await a scheduled November trial.
The passenger's version of events leading up to the fatality will be crucial for criminal prosecutors. The testimony would also be invaluable in injury or wrongful death claims for damages in a civil court.
Source: dailycamera.com, "Suspected driver in fatal Diagonal rollover pleads not guilty, will go to trial" Mitchell Byars, Jul. 10, 2013