Crime

More Than Twenty Fatal or Serious Denver Hit-and-Runs in 2019 So Far

David Montoya after his moped accident on August 25.
David Montoya after his moped accident on August 25. GoFundMe
So far in 2019, more than two people each month on average have been killed or seriously injured in Denver by hit-and-run drivers. But arrests have been made in fewer than half of the incidents.

These facts, culled from statistics provided by the Denver Police Department, add another layer to concerns about the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders on metro streets amid rising traffic volume and other infrastructure stressors.

Vision Zero, a project whose ambitious goal is to eliminate traffic fatalities in the Mile High City by 2030, recorded 367 deaths on or near Denver roadways from the start of 2013 through August 14, including 76 people killed while on foot. Approximately 21 percent of the latter casualties took place along Federal Boulevard, making it the most dangerous Denver street for pedestrians during the past six-plus years.

The damage done by drivers who flee from accident scenes contributes to the carnage. The DPD figures provided to Westword extend from January 1, 2019, through August 17, the date of our request. Over that span, four fatal hit-and-run crashes and seventeen resulting in serious bodily injury took place in Denver. Of those 21 incidents, detailed below and highlighted in a Google Map, arrests were made in nine.


Since the 17th, at least three more Denver hit-and-runs have happened, with arrests in two cases. On August 18, Aaron Boyd, 45, was killed after a collision near 46th and Chambers. Afterward, Jesus Molina Gamboa, 26, was busted on suspicion of vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, leaving the scene of a crash involving death and leaving the scene of a crash involving serious bodily injury; Gamboa's probable-cause statement is accessible below. Four days later, on August 22, a motorcyclist was seriously hurt at the 39th and Peoria intersection after being contacted by a white Honda CR-V whose driver didn't stick around. (Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $2,000 in the case. If you have any information, you're encouraged to call 720-913-7867.) And on August 25, David Montoya suffered a collapsed lung, three broken ribs, a broken femur, brain swelling and other injuries after he was in a smash-up while piloting a moped. The next day, 28-year-old Ginger Montoya (no relation) was taken into custody.

Here's the Google Map depicting the other 21 hit-and-runs:


The first hit-and-run of 2019 happened on the 4200 block of Josephine Street and involved a pedestrian, as did eight subsequent crashes in different locales. The only hit-and-run in which a cyclist was the victim went down on May 13 near the intersection of South Kalamath Street and West Cedar Avenue. No scooters were struck by hit-and-run drivers during the months covered by the DPD data, meaning that the other eleven crashes were motor-vehicle affairs.

Of the four fatalities among the 21 hit-and-runs, three included a victim in another automobile, while the fourth, at Blake and 15th on April 5, left a pedestrian dead.

Continue for the list, in chronological order. Note that we've marked the two crashes in which the arrested driver has been accused of being intoxicated.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts