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  • Teen Defendant in Colorado Double Fatality Gets Probation

    On behalf of The Frickey Law Firm, posted on Monday, February 18, 2013.

    Two women were struck and killed along Colorado Interstate 70 last year as they changed a tire on a disabled vehicle. A 37-year-old man told authorities he was the driver who caused the fatal pedestrian accident. Police said they later learned the man was lying to protect the actions of his teenage son.

    The 16-year-old apparently was operating the tractor-trailer that slammed into the out-of-state women on the roadside near Limon. Colorado State Patrol said the teen was removed from the pedestrian accident site by a third-party before troopers got there.

    The young driver was charged with double counts of careless driving and abandoning the victims of the fatality. False reporting charges were brought against the father of the accused boy.

    The deadly crash included a quirk of fate. The victims and teen’s family were en route to the same national rodeo, where the boy was slated to perform as a high school competitor.

    The teen pleaded guilty to unreported charges that may have been reduced in a plea deal. An eastern Colorado judge sentenced the minor to two years’ probation and hundreds of hours of community service. The court also stripped the teen’s driving privileges for two years.

    Reports did not include follow up about the father’s criminal charge. Legal observers wonder, beyond charges for lying to troopers, whether the father should be held criminally responsible for knowingly permitting an inexperienced teen driver to operate a tractor-trailer. The father’s alleged willingness to take the rap for his son could have been a sign of culpability.

    A wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the family of one of the accident victims. Father and son were named as defendants.

    Civil trials for personal injury and wrongful death suits concentrate on negligence proof. Jurors may decide to portion fault among defendants. Each defendant would be responsible for a percentage of total damages awarded by a jury.

    Source: thedenverchannel.com, “Teen sentenced in fatal I-70 big rig crash in Eastern Colorado,” Wayne Harrison, Feb. 9, 2013