Law Enforcement

Why Denver Could Set an All-Time Record for Traffic Deaths in 2022

The most recent fatal accident in Denver took place on the 1500 block of North Colorado Boulevard.
The most recent fatal accident in Denver took place on the 1500 block of North Colorado Boulevard. Google Maps
The number of traffic deaths in Denver has been steadily increasing over recent years. In 2021, 84 people were killed in vehicular incidents in the city — the highest number in more than a decade and by far the most since Denver launched Vision Zero, a five-year action plan with the mission of "eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries by making our roadways safer for everyone" as of 2030.

Instead, the situation continues to get worse — so much so that 2022 may set an all-time record for traffic deaths in Denver.

As of June 18, the most recent date on the official rundown provided by the Denver Police Department, 39 people had died in Mile High City traffic accidents this year. That's seven more than the number of deaths through the same date in 2021.

According to the DPD, the deadliest traffic year in its recorded history was 1969, when the fatality count hit an even 100 — but that mark could be in jeopardy should fatalities continue to occur at the current pace.

The total traffic-death toll since February 17, 2016, the date Denver officially committed to Vision Zero, is now at 421, according to data collected by Denver Streets Partnership.

Annual traffic death totals for Denver weren't widely accessible until recent years. However, the DPD was able to provide Westword with numbers for each year since 2010, when the fatality count was 42, exactly half of the 2021 total. The previous high-water mark over this span was 2019, with 71 — thirteen fatalities fewer than in 2021.
2010: 42
2011: 41
2012: 40
2013: 47
2014: 49
2015: 57
2016: 61
2017: 51
2018: 64
2019: 71
2020: 57
2021: 84
Here are the names of the 39 individuals who died in Denver traffic accidents in 2022 through June 18, listed in chronological order, along with the location of the incident; whether criminal charges were pressed, are pending or were declined by prosecutors; and the type of vehicle involved. Note that five of the deaths were associated with hit-and-runs.

1. January 11, 2022
Victim: Paul Hobrecht
5200 block of Peña Boulevard
Auto/Rollover
Criminal charges: None

2, January 14, 2022
Victim: Patricia Young
East Alameda Avenue/South Dayton Street
Auto/Auto
Criminal charges: Careless driving with death

3. January 21, 2022
Victim: Matthew Goodman
1800 block of South Federal Boulevard
Pedestrian/Auto
Criminal charges: Declined

4. February 6, 2022
Victim: Joaquin Romero
600 block of South Eliot Street
Auto/Pedestrian
Hit and Run
Criminal charges: Pending

5. February 6, 2022
Victim: Steven Aguilar
Northbound I-25/Colfax Avenue
Auto/Rollover
Criminal charges: None

6. February 9, 2022
Victim: Jeffrey Jones
3700 Park Avenue West
Pedestrian/Train
Criminal charges: None

7. February 12, 2022
Victim: Oscar Chiccon
North Williams Street/East 31st Avenue
Auto/Auto
Criminal charges: Careless driving with death

8. February 25, 2022
Victim: Mary Vaccaro
North Tower Road/East 69th Avenue
Auto/Pedestrian
Criminal charges: Declined

9. February 26, 2022
Victim: Kevin Maczo-Hernandez
1200 block of South Santa Fe Drive
Auto/Rollover
Criminal charges: None

10. March 2, 2022
Victim: Jaime Gonzalez-Valdez
Leetsdale Drive/South Monaco Parkway
Motorcycle/Auto
Criminal charges: Declined

11. March 3, 2022
Victim: April Mata
Southbound I-25/West Eighth Avenue
Auto/Rollover
Criminal charges: Careless driving with death

12, March 12, 2022
Victim: Joshua Jones
Northbound I-25/West Alameda Avenue
Pedestrian/Auto
Hit and Run
Criminal charges: Felony hit and run

13. March 23, 2022
Victim: Michael Lewis
Southbound I-25/West 13th Avenue
Pedestrian/Auto
Criminal charges: Declined

14. March 24, 2022
Victim: Daniel Rubio
West 5th Avenue/North Kalamath Street
Auto/Rollover
Criminal charges: Careless driving with death

15. March 28, 2022
Victim: Dennis Neely
West Alameda Avenue/South Sheridan Boulevard
Auto/Rollover
Criminal charges: Careless driving with death

16. April 1, 2022
Victim: Rodolfo Rivera
East Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard/Colorado Boulevard
Auto/Auto
Hit and Run
Criminal charges: Vehicular homicide

17. April 1, 2022
Victim: Anthony Yagovane
Speer Boulevard/North Broadway Street
Auto/Pedestrian
Criminal charges: Declined

18. March 31, 2022
Carla Andre
East Mississippi Avenue/South Geneva Street
Auto/Auto
Criminal charges: None

19. April 8, 2022
Dale Bluecoat
East Colfax Avenue/North Race Street
Pedestrian/Auto
Criminal charges: Declined

20. April 8, 2022
Gustavo Cordero
California Street/22nd Street
Motorcycle/Auto
Criminal charges: Declined

21. April 9, 2022
Victor Cruz-Perez
South Sheridan Boulevard/West Alameda Avenue
Scooter/Auto
Criminal charges: Declined

22. April 11, 2022
Eugene Guzman
13600 block of East 56th Avenue
Auto/Fixed object
Criminal charges: None

23. April 12, 2022
Benjamin Murphy
West 38th Avenue/North Quivas Street
Auto/Motorcycle
Criminal charges: Careless driving with death

24. April 17, 2022
Victor Hallcy
North Syracuse Street/East 14th Avenue
Auto/Auto
Criminal charges: Careless driving with death

25. May 4, 2022
Maximilian Ryan
South Jason Street/South Platte River Drive
Auto/Rollover
Criminal charges: None

26. May 5, 2022
Jose Medrano
South Federal Boulevard/West Yale Avenue
Auto/Auto
Criminal charges: Pending

27. May 6, 2022
Edgar Johnson
13600 Block of East 56th Avenue
Auto/Auto
Criminal charges: Vehicular homicide

28. May 11, 2022
Steven Peters
North Colorado Boulevard/East 48th Avenue
Pedestrian/Auto
Criminal charges: Pending

29. May 13, 2022
Kevin Maez
Westbound Interstate 70/Central Park Boulevard
Auto/Motorcycle
Criminal charges: Pending

30. May 17, 2022
Christopher Apodaca
4300 block of East Colfax Avenue
Pedestrian/Auto
Hit and Run
Criminal charges: Felony hit and run

31. May 21, 2022
Paul Hoard
East 13th Avenue/North Broadway
Auto/Auto
Criminal charges: None

32. May 22, 2022
Elmil Parada-Funez
North Chambers Road/East 40th Avenue
Auto/Auto
Criminal charges: None

33. May 24, 2022
Lynn Willcockson
East Harvard Avenue/South Quebec Street
Auto/Auto
Criminal charges: Vehicular homicide

34. May 30, 2022
Muslima Warsame
East 46th Avenue/North Brighton Boulevard
Auto/Auto
Criminal charges: Vehicular homicide

35. May 30, 2022
Samantha Whatley
Northbound Interstate 225/Westbound Interstate 70 flyover ramp
Auto/Auto
Criminal charges: None

36. May 30, 2022
Juvenile (name not provided)
Northbound Interstate 225/Westbound Interstate 70 flyover ramp
Auto./Auto
Criminal charges: None

37. June 2, 2022
Alfred McClendon
Pena Boulevard outbound/E-470
Auto/Rollover
Criminal charges: None

38. June 5, 2022
Manuel Ruiz
6400 block of Pena Boulevard outbound
Auto/Rollover
Criminal charges: None

39. June 18, 2022
Jason Fujiwara
1500 block of North Colorado Boulevard
Pedestrian/Auto
Hit and Run
Criminal charges: Pending
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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