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David Montoya after his moped accident on August 25.
David Montoya after his moped accident on August 25.

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

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.

1. January 1, 2019
4200 block of North Josephine Street
Serious bodily injury
Pedestrian involved: Yes
Arrest made: Yes

2. January 27, 2019
Quebec Street at Interstate 70 eastbound
Serious bodily injury
Pedestrian involved: No
Arrest made: No

3. January 27, 2019
East 11th Avenue at Broadway
Serious bodily injury
Pedestrian involved: Yes
Arrest made: Yes (DUI)

4. February 14, 2019
East Mississippi at South Valentia Street
Fatal
Pedestrian involved: No
Arrest made: Yes

5. February 28, 2019
North Memphis Street at East 56th Avenue
Serious bodily injury
Pedestrian involved: No
Arrest made: No

6. March 5, 2019
East Colfax Avenue at North Logan Street
Serious Bodily Injury
Pedestrian involved: Yes
Arrest made: No

7. March 20, 2019
1300 block of North Gilpin Street
Serious bodily injury
Pedestrian involved: Yes
Arrest made: No

8. March 24, 2019
Leetsdale Drive at South Holly Street
Serious bodily injury
Pedestrian involved: No
Arrest made: Yes

9. April 5, 2019
Blake Street at 15th Street
Fatal
Pedestrian involved: Yes
Arrest made: Yes

10. April 6, 2019
West Regis Boulevard at North Federal Boulevard
Serious bodily injury
Pedestrian involved: No
Arrest made: No

11. May 1, 2019
East Evans Avenue at South Holly Street
Serious Bodily Injury
Pedestrian involved: Yes
Arrest made: No

12: May 13, 2019
South Kalamath Street at West Cedar Avenue
Serious bodily injury
Cyclist involved: Yes
Arrest made: No

13. May 14, 2019
1900 block of South Quebec Street
Serious bodily injury
Pedestrian involved: Yes
Arrest made: No

14. May 22, 2019
North Clayton Street at East Bruce Randolph Avenue
Fatal
Pedestrian involved: No
Arrest made: No

15. June 9, 2019
East Colfax Avenue at North Colorado Boulevard
Fatal
Pedestrian involved: No
Arrest made: Yes

16. June 9, 2019
West Louisiana Avenue at South Xavier Street
Serious bodily injury
Pedestrian involved: No
Arrest made: Yes (DUI)

17. June 29, 2019
West 6th Avenue frontage road at North Tennyson Street
Serious bodily injury
Pedestrian involved: No
Arrest made: No

18: July 2, 2019
8200 block of East Colfax Avenue
Serious bodily injury
Pedestrian involved: Yes
Arrest made: Yes

19. July 17, 2019
1400 block of South Dahlia Street
Serious bodily injury
Pedestrian involved: Yes
Arrest made: Yes

20. July 28, 2019
South Platte River Drive at West Mississippi Avenue
Serious bodily injury
Pedestrian involved: No
Arrest made: No

21. August 16, 2019
North Speer Boulevard at Auraria Parkway
Serious bodily injury
Pedestrian involved: No
Arrest made: No

Crashes of this sort aren't only a Denver problem. In Aurora, a bicyclist was killed by a hit-and-run driver early yesterday, September 4, along the 1800 block of South Buckley Road, marking the nineteenth traffic-related fatality in that city this year.

It's unclear whether the number of serious or fatal hit-and-runs in Denver this year to date constitutes an increase or decrease compared to prior years, since the DPD hasn't tracked this stat in the past.

Click to access the GoFundMe page for David Montoya and the Denver police report on Jesus Molina Gamboa regarding the August 18 hit-and-run.

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