The Colorado State Patrol troopers have seen an "alarming" upward trend in the number of hit-and-run crashes across Colorado in the first quarter of 2023.
So far this year, State Patrol has seen a 22% increase in hit-and-runs, including those involving property, according to a news release from the agency. In the first three months of 2023, there were 729 as compared to 596 in the same time last year.
State Patrol is still seeking information to solve three active fatal hit-and-run cases.
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Colorado State Patrol Chief Matthew Packard urged anyone who hits a person, vehicle or piece of property not to panic, as the consequences of fleeing the scene out of fear are far worse than the consequences of remaining on the scene.
"Operating out of fear will only worsen this situation," Packard said in a news release. "Stay at the scene, check to make sure you and anyone is injured and call 911 to report the collision."
In addition to charges associated with the crash itself, leaving the scene of a crash can lead to criminal charges — some of which are felonies.
If an uninsured motorist were to stay at the scene of a property crash, they could be charged with careless driving and no proof of insurance, adding up to eight total points.
If the same uninsured motorist were to leave the scene, they could also be charged with fleeing the scene of an accident, making the point total 44 and including possible jail time and/or a fine.
"Whether the driver doesn't have a license, is impaired, or drove carelessly/recklessly and for whatever reason leaves the scene of a crash, although serious in nature, it pales in comparison to the charges he could face by leaving the scene," according to the release.
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In 2022, State Patrol investigated and solved every 'felonious' hit-and-run case, of which there were 20 total, according to the release.
In 2023 so far, there have been eight new cases and five have been solved.
The unsolved cases are as follows. State Patrol requests public assistance in solving the open hit-and-run cases:
Feb. 1, case number 2B230337: A hit-and-run crash near Constitution Avenue and Waynoka Place, in front of the nearby Sonic fast food restaurant in El Paso County, killed an 18-year-old male from Peyton.
The run vehicle is a 2017 to 2022 gray Ford F-250. 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.
Jan. 1 between 2 a.m. and 9 a.m., case number 2B230002: A hit-and-run crash near Fontaine Boulevard and Metropolitan Street in El Paso county killed a 19-year-old bicyclist.
The run vehicle is believed to have been a 2015 to 2017 black Ford Expedition. The bicyclist was wearing bright pink clothing.
Anyone with information about the crash or who may have seen the bicyclist is asked to call the Pueblo Colorado State Patrol Dispatch Center at 719-544-2424.
May 19 at 5 p.m., case number 1D232018: A four-vehicle hit-and-run on U.S. 287 just south of Larimer County killed two people.
The run vehicle is believed to be a dark red/maroon 2009 or newer Dodge Ram 1500 with chrome front and rear bumpers and chrome wheels. The right side of the vehicle is damaged.
The driver is believed to be a heavy-set male about 50-to-60 years old with a white beard. Anyone with information about the crash or the driver is asked to call the Denver Colorado State Patrol Dispatch Center at 303-239-4501.
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might not be a bad idea to have a dash cam. With so many more people being immoral, the amount of hit and runs will probably continue to increase.
"In the first three months of 2023, there were 729" People just have no concern for their fellow man anymore!
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