Now, 23-year-old Emily Strock has been formally charged with causing the crash, allegedly after drinking a beer and smoking a bowl of marijuana -- and on Facebook, she notes that she's feeling "lost and broken" in the wake of the incident. Continue for details, photos, the original police report and more.
The probable cause statement in the case maintains that sometime after 2 a.m. on the 21st, Strock was driving east on West Colfax "at a high speed" -- witnesses estimated it at sixty miles per hour in a thirty zone -- and failed to stop when the light at Speer was red.
An instant later, her vehicle smashed into another one traveling southbound on Speer. Here's a CBS4 image of the aftermath:A total of seven people were transported to area hospitals, Strock among them. She wound up at Denver Health, where the author of the report writes that she failed "six out of six clues" related to drug/alcohol impairment.
According to the statement, Strock "admitted" to an officer that prior to driving, she consumed "one beer and smoked a bowl of marijuana."
Strock reportedly agreed to a blood draw, but there's no mention of where she scored in terms of legal THC levels. That's not surprising, since processing such tests takes much longer than does the analysis for alcohol impairment -- although there are no numbers related to that, either. Denver District Attorney's Office spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough tells us Strock is being accused of driving under the influence of drugs based on the information in the probable-cause statement. Additional charges include two counts of vehicular assault, four for third-degree assault and one involving no proof of insurance.The Strock charges follow amended accusations in a July 12 crash involving Ryan Nuanez. As we've reported, Nuanez was behind the wheel of a black SUV that smashed into an optical store near the intersection of Amherst and Colorado. Because the store's owner, 59-year-old Cheryl Hurlbut, subsequently died of her injuries, he's now facing a vehicular homicide count.
Nuanez's probable cause statement noted that he was suspected of having been under the influence of an "unknown narcotic" -- and we still don't know what that substance was. Kimbrough tells us the formal allegation related to impairment accuses Nuanez of being under the influence of "alcohol or drugs or both."
These two crashes aren't the first to involve an alleged combination of liquor and drugs. As we've reported, Keith Kilbey was originally accused of being a stoned driver in a January crash -- but when test results finally came back, we learned that he was more than three times over the legal limit for alcohol in addition to doubling the controversial THC standard.
In the meantime, Strock is only been charged with DUID, not driving under the influence of alcohol, despite her alleged acknowledgment that she consumed some of the latter. Here's her probable cause statement, followed by our previous coverage.
Colfax and Speer is one of Denver's busiest intersections due in part to its proximity to many of the city's most iconic landmarks. Here's an interactive graphic of the area; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
View Larger Map
Confirmation of the crash came via this Denver Police Department tweet....
...and its followup, sent into the ether within the hour.
UPDATE on accident Speer & Colfax, 4-5 injured with SBI, unknown time frame when streets reopened.#Denver— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) July 21, 2014
Meanwhile, nearby news media organizations rushed personnel to the scene, with those represented including 9News....
As you can see, the count of injured individuals is still fluid at this point. 9News notes that the DPD has not yet issued an official statement about the total number of victims or exactly what happened, although one vehicle could be clearly seen on its side and another was crumpled into a pole.
The focus of such incidents is often their disruption to traffic. But it's important not to lose sight of the potential human cost and lives that may be hanging in the balance.
Update: As of 1:34 p.m., the Denver Police Department has yet to release official information about the Colfax-Speer crash early this morning. However, multiple reports now put the number of injured parties at seven, with two of those individuals hurt seriously. In addition, early suggestions that street racing was involved now appear to be false. The current focus: a determination about whether alcohol or drugs played a part in the crash.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.