Earlier this week, we recounted a sad story about the passing of David Hernandez, who'd lingered in a coma for days after being struck while riding his bicycle before finally succumbing to his catastrophic injuries.
As for the person who struck Hernandez, he hit and ran; see our previous coverage below.
Now, an arrest has been made in the case, with Gregory Hauptmann, 41, facing two serious charges. And what led to the bust? A trip to a body shop.
As we've reported, Hernandez was riding his bike home from work along the 9900 block of Westminster Boulevard at about 11 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, when a vehicle struck him and kept going, even though the mangled two-wheeler appears to have been dragged 1,000 feet from the spot of impact.
Here's an interactive graphic of the area near the scene. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
View Larger Map
A passerby found Hernandez gravely wounded in the middle of the road, and thanks to his efforts, and that of a Westminster police officer who responded to the 911 call, he reached a nearby hospital alive.
Unfortunately, the damage was too great. He died this past weekend.
His passing caused investigators to redouble their efforts to find the person responsible for Hernandez's death -- and they had some physical evidence to assist them.
It proved vital. According to the Westminster Police Department, detectives were able to identify the make and model of the lethal ride through evidence reconstruction and assorted material left behind at the scene. They then found a vehicle that matched the description at a local body shop. It was awaiting repair.
Had Hauptmann also made an insurance claim on the vehicle? That's unconfirmed at this time.
Whatever the case, Hauptmann has been charged with failure to remain at the scene or give information/aid in an accident resulting in death, a felony, and failure to notify police of an accident, a misdemeanor. At last report, he was in custody at the Jefferson County Detention Facility.
Here's a larger look at Hauptmann's booking photo, followed by our previous reporting.
Continue for our previous coverage after the David Hernandez hit-and-run, including photos and video. Original post, 9:50 a.m. June 17: Here at Westword, we've been closely following the case of David Hernandez, who was struck and critically injured by a hit-and-run driver in Westminster earlier this month -- because his family, friends and loved ones include a member of our staff.
Unfortunately, the latest development is a tragic one. Over the weekend, Hernandez died as a result of his wounds. His passing adds even more seriousness to the charges that will greet the person who struck him -- if and when the individual can be found, that is.
At around 11 p.m. on June 8, according to the Westminster Police Department, Hernandez was riding his bicycle home from work when he was hit by a vehicle around the 9900 block of Westminster Boulevard.
The driver didn't stop, essentially leaving Hernandez to die. That he was able to survive as long as he did is thanks to a passing motorist, who found him lying in the middle of the road. This person phoned the WPD, and an officer was able to keep him alive via CPR long enough for him to be transported to a nearby hospital.
He was in critical condition at the time he was admitted and soon fell into a coma from which he didn't awaken. Our condolences to all of those who knew and loved him.
As for Hernandez's bicycle, it was found 1,000 feet away from where he fell, leading to speculation that it was trapped under the vehicle that struck him for a time -- making it even less likely that the driver was unaware that he or she had made a deadly error.
Here's a look at the bicycle as seen in a CBS4 report. The person in the image is Westminster police spokeswoman Cheri Spottke:
Prior to Hernandez's death, many of his closest family members stepped forward to ask for the public's assistance in identifying the person who hit and ran.
That message is echoed by the Westminster police. There is neither imagery of the accident nor any description of the ride's make, model or color. However, investigators believe the vehicle may have damage to its hood and/or the passenger-side headlight, as well as possible damage to its windshield wipers.
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Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Westminster Police Detective Dean Passarelli at 303-658-4241.
Here's the aforementioned CBS4 report, originally aired three days after the collision.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Dan Peterson, R.I.P.: Remembering hit-and-run victim who elevated bike-safety concerns."