Taylor Mathis gets deferred sentence for brutal hit and run caught on camera

Like Carmen Tisch, sentenced to mental health probation for rubbing her butt on, and urinating near, a $30 million Clyfford Still painting, Taylor Mathis didn't immediately earn jail time for one of the most notorious offenses in recent months. That's more surprising in Mathis's case, though, since she badly injured two people in a hit-and-run accident caught on camera. See the video below.

At about 10:30 p.m. on January 23, as we originally reported, a man and a woman were standing in the middle of Colfax. "My driver Paige said, 'What are they doing? Why are they in the middle of the street? They're going to get hit,'" witness Ashley Woodard told CBS4, adding, "Literally as she said, 'They're going to get hit,' they got hit."

True enough. As seen in a video released by Denver Police, a white 2007 Kia can be seen plowing directly into the couple, causing the man to go airborne, arms and legs outspread.

Hard to imagine the impact wasn't felt, but the driver -- Mathis -- continued down the road at an impressive clip. But she didn't get far. While comforting the victims (the man suffered two broken legs, the woman a broken hip), Woodard and her friend dialed 911. Meanwhile, another person in the busy area followed Mathis long enough to eyeball her license plate. She was soon put under arrest.

Now, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office, Mathis, who turned 22 in February, has pleaded guilty to two counts of leaving the scene of an accident causing injury. Her punishment: a two-year deferred judgment and two years of probation, plus 200 hours of community service and a requirement to pay court fees and restitution.

The terms of the agreement mean Mathis won't spend a stretch behind bars if she stays out of trouble for the next two years. For her, the results constitute a lucky break -- which certainly can't be said for the two people she struck.

Look below to see a larger version of Mathis's mug shot, as well as the aforementioned video, encompassed in a 9News report from shortly after the accident.

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More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Jenna Breen's hit-and-run death: New info in case of three-time DUI offender."

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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