In recent months, we've been reporting about the shocking number of hit-and-runs in the area. Take yesterday's report about the plea deal involvingTheresa O'Connor
, who's admittedcausing the death of cyclist Ernesto Wiedenburg
Given the volume of such offenses, the hit-and-run incident for which Adriene Garcia was arrested might seem all too commonplace -- if she weren't the wife of Aurora's fire chief, Mike Garcia.
Adriene Garcia's Facebook page features several photos of her with her husband, including this one....
...and this one. Also on view are assorted solo portraits. Here's one example.... ...and another: The presence of a drink in the photo above shouldn't imply that liquor was a factor in the crash that led to Adriene being taken into custody. Indeed, an Aurora Police Department release specifically mentions that "neither intoxication nor excessive speed is suspected in this event" -- an unusual statement at such an early stage of the investigation.
However, the APD alert avoids any mention of Adriene's husband or their prominence in the community.
At about 10:23 p.m. on Wednesday, May 14, according to the APD, a blue Hyundai sedan was stopped at the traffic signal controlling the intersection of East Yale Avenue and South Peoria Street when a black Nissan Pathfinder traveling eastbound smacked it from behind. But rather than sticking around, the Pathfinder's driver hightailed it out of there, heading south on Peoria.
The collision was serious enough to hurt two children in the Hyundai; they were accompanied by an adult male. Both kids were transported to an area hospital, with one in particular said to have suffered a serious but non-life-threatening bodily injury.
About twenty minutes later, at approximately 10:44 p.m., police received what they characterize as "another report from South Chambers Road and East Belleview Avenue," where they found the Pathfinder and confirmed it had been in the crash.
The caller, according to 9News, was Mike Garcia. Adriene is said to have driven home and told her husband what happened, at which point he dialed 911.
The aforementioned 9News report includes comments from Adriene's attorney, who floats the possibility that a medical condition may have caused the crash -- the same argument made by O'Connor's legal team. In Adriene's case, the lawyer says she suffered a traumatic brain injury during an assault about a decade ago and its lingering effects have been exacerbated by "a few auto accidents she has been in."
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Nonetheless, the APD expects felony charges to be filed against Adriene, including careless driving resulting in serious bodily injury and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury. Also possible is a charge against the driver of the Hyundai, since his kids weren't in seat belts at the time of the crash.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa May 15: "Theresa O'Connor, guilty in hit-and-run that killed cyclist, may not get jail time."