Mark Karla's Death in Post-Garth Brooks Concert Crash Leads to New Charges

Mark Karla (left) and the booking photo for Jeffery Dean Sloan.
Mark Karla (left) and the booking photo for Jeffery Dean Sloan. Commerce City Family Dental/Denver Police Department
Jeffery Dean Sloan is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Denver court this afternoon on a new charge of vehicular homicide.

Sloan was allegedly driving a stolen vehicle in a crash that killed Uber driver Yasir Hasan, who had been taking Mark Karla home after the June 8 Garth Brooks concert at Mile High Stadium; Sloan had already been charged with vehicular homicide in connection with Hasan's death. Karla was critically injured in the incident, which took place early on June 9, and he fought for life over the next few weeks before finally succumbing to his injuries on July 1 — hence the second vehicular-homicide beef against Sloan, put in place the day after Karla's passing.

Sloan now faces two counts apiece of vehicular homicide, first-degree assault/extreme indifference, vehicular eluding and leaving the scene of an accident.

Little information has surfaced about Hasan since the smash-up. But Karla was the son-in-law of former Colorado attorney general and current Colorado Springs mayor John Suthers, and his wife, Alison Suthers, is a Denver deputy district attorney. Alison Suthers's association with the prosecutor's office where the alleged crime took place explains why the 18th Judicial District DA's office has been named a special prosecutor in the case. However, Vikki Migoya, spokesperson for the latter agency, stresses that the case will be heard by a Denver judge in a Denver courtroom.

The couple has a two-year-old daughter, Isabelle, known to family members as Izzy.

Karla worked for Commerce City Family Dental. According to his bio, he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, near where he grew up, in 2000. He continued his education with a general-practice residency at University of Colorado Health Services, where he served as an assistant clinical professor.

According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Karla went to the Garth Brooks concert with a friend. Around midnight, he called his wife to tell her that he was catching an Uber home.

What happened at 1:08 a.m. June 9 is described in Sloan's probable-cause statement. A stolen silver Jeep Liberty was traveling westbound on Colfax Avenue at approximately 80 miles per hour (based on an estimate from HALO video footage) when it blazed past a red light at the Colorado Boulevard intersection and slammed into the silver Honda driven by Hasan. The impact caused the Honda to smash into a second vehicle, a black 2000 Dodge Dakota.

The Jeep's driver fled the scene, but a black leather jacket inside contained a wallet with Sloan's Colorado ID and his phone. The owner of the Jeep told investigators that he did not know Sloan and had not given him permission to take his car.

On June 10, Sloan was located and arrested on what the statement characterized as "unrelated warrants." His initial claims about his whereabouts at the time of the crash are blacked out in the statement, but a reference remains to a woman who told police he wasn't with her during a portion of the hours from Saturday into Sunday.

Sloan is scheduled to be in courtroom 4B at the Lindsey-Flanigan courthouse in Denver today, July 10, at 1:30 p.m. Click to access the Jeffery Dean Sloan probable-cause statement.
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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