Denver Driving Instructor Crashes Into Driving School, Issued Ticket | Westword

Driving Instructor Crashes Into Lakewood Driving School, Cited for Careless Driving

"Of course, with it being the driving school...The memes have been endless," says a Lakewood business owner, who caught the crash on surveillance video.
The crash happened around 9 a.m. August 8 at the Community Driving School in Lakewood at 2099 Wadsworth Boulevard.
The crash happened around 9 a.m. August 8 at the Community Driving School in Lakewood at 2099 Wadsworth Boulevard. Anastasia Walfred
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Oh, the irony.

A man training to be a driving instructor — who was on his second day — was issued a careless driving ticket on Tuesday, August 8, after he crashed into the Lakewood school where he works, according to police.

The man, who was not identified by cops, had been attempting to park his Hyundai Tucson SUV in front of the Community Driving School at 2099 Wadsworth Boulevard when he "accidentally drove into the office," says John Romero, public information officer for the Lakewood Police Department.

"No injuries were reported and no arrests made," Romero tells Westword. "He was cited for careless driving."

Surveillance footage captured by a camera at another business in the shopping center where the driving school is located, High Roller Smoke & Vape, shows the instructor slowly pulling into the parking lot and toward a spot in front of the driving school before attempting to pull in — and accidentally hitting the gas. "When you look at our video, it looks like he had just accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes," says Anastasia Walfred, co-owner of High Roller Smoke. "Of course, with it being the driving school, all of us in the shopping center are talking and joking about it. The memes have been endless."
click to enlarge Photos posted by an Instagram user named @theginger._ from inside the Lakewood Driving School where a crash happened on August 8.
An Instagram user named @theginger._ posted pictures from inside the Lakewood driving school, showing the aftermath.

According to Steve Rohman, owner of the Community Driving School — which is a third-party tester that administers in-car driving exams, as the state is no longer providing them, per its website — the man involved in the crash was a "brand-new employee" who was on his second day of work. He has not yet made it through in-car instructor training.

"He hasn't gone through our in-house certification," Rohman says. "He was there today to shadow a classroom. He hadn't even started the training process for in-car instructor. He's brand-new. He was just starting the classroom portion of [being an instructor]."

The employee was in his own personal vehicle and not a company car. His employment status is being evaluated by the driving school — and it doesn't look good. "We look for highly qualified people to teach our students, and this isn't in line with what we're looking for," Rohman tells Westword. "[His status] is being weighed."

He adds, "At Community Driving School, the safety of our instructors and students is the most important thing to us, and we are always making decisions based on that."

Described as "one of Denver's premier driving schools," Community Driving School currently has four locations: in Golden, Lakewood, Westminster and Littleton. The Lakewood facility has been open since 2016 and has never experienced anything like this, according to Rohman. Nor has the company.

"As a school, we've been in business a lot longer than that, and we've never had anything like [a crash] happen," he says.

Others in the shopping center, however, say it was just another crazy day near Colfax Avenue.

"There's always something," Walfred says of what she sees outside High Roller Smoke week in and week out.

"Just a few months ago, maybe a year now, someone accidentally crashed into the liquor store in the same complex," she notes. "So yeah, this shopping center is pretty funny."
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