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  • Colorado Jury Considers Homicide Charges Against “Passenger”

    On behalf of The Frickey Law Firm, posted on Monday, April 22, 2013.

    A car went off a Colorado road into a river last May. The single-vehicle auto accident near Fort Collins killed one man and injured another. The man who survived claims he was a victim and a passenger, not a reckless driver. Prosecutors said the state was certain that the defendant was lying.

    Investigators said the Subaru Forester was speeding at more than double the posted 35 mph speed limit when the vehicle left Colorado Highway 14. The car veered off the highway in the middle of the night and spilled into the Poudre Canyon. The man on trial said he was asleep in the passenger seat until the Subaru hit the water.

    The defendant claimed the crash caused the driver to fly across and past him, out the front passenger window. Prosecutors argued the trajectory was impossible from the driver’s seat. Investigators reported the Subaru’s front seat was adjusted for a driver of the defendant’s size, not for someone as tall as the victim.

    Prosecutors think the chest injury the crash survivor suffered was caused by the steering wheel. The defendant’s attorney said his client suffered damage from being thrown around the inside of the car.

    The accused man told state troopers he escaped through the sunroof and swam to shore. He later retrieved beer and a sleeping bag from the vehicle and slept on the river bank until he was found. The survivor said he was too injured to climb back up to the highway to seek help.

    A passing motorist contacted police around 6 a.m. after noticing skid marks on the canyon road. The body of the defendant’s companion was found floating in the river.

    A criminal court will decide whether the defendant is guilty of drunk driving and vehicular homicide. A civil court would consider evidence of the defendant’s neglect before awarding damages to the victim’s estate or family members for wrongful death.

    Source: coloradoan.com, “Prosectors: Seat position, injuries prove suspect was driving during car crash that killed his friend,” Trevor Hughes, April 12, 2013