Crime

Update: Irene Martinez Arrested in Fatal Lakewood Hit-and-Run

This Wheat Ridge Police Department photo shows the walker of a September 29 hit-and-run victim.
This Wheat Ridge Police Department photo shows the walker of a September 29 hit-and-run victim. Wheat Ridge Police Department
Update: Shortly before 11 a.m. on September 30, the Lakewood Police Department announced that Aurora resident Irene Martinez, 55, had been arrested on suspicion of leaving the scene of an accident involving death related to a fatal hit-and-run near the intersection of West Colfax Avenue and Kendall Street the previous night. Continue for our original coverage.

Original post: In less than two hours the evening of September 29, two brutal hit-and-runs took place in metro Denver.

The first happened in Lakewood, where a pedestrian was killed; investigators with the Lakewood Police Department are on the lookout for the driver of the vehicle suspected of crashing into the victim and then leaving the scene. In the second, a disabled man fell into the street and then was critically injured by a car; a release from the Wheat Ridge Police Department acknowledges, "We don’t know if this person realizes they struck a human being."

Hit-and-runs have been a growing problem in the metro area this year. The Denver Police Department has recorded fourteen hit-and-runs involving a fatality in 2022 to date, one more than in all of 2021. Hit-and-runs in which the victim survives but is seriously hurt are happening with great frequency in the city as well; the most recent one occurred on September 22, on the 2700 block of West Jewell Avenue.

Suburbs haven't been immune to this phenomenon, as witnessed by last night's events.

The Lakewood hit-and-run took place shortly before 7 p.m. at the intersection of West Colfax Avenue and Kendall Street. A driver heading westbound struck a pedestrian and continued without stopping, police say. But investigators have photos of a suspect vehicle: a white 1996 Infinity G20 with Colorado license plate number NRO-014.

Here's an image of the car shared by the LPD:
click to enlarge
A Lakewood Police Department photo of a suspect vehicle thought to have been involved in a September 29 hit-and-run.
Wheat Ridge police representatives say the hit-and-run in that jurisdiction occurred at approximately 8:51 p.m. near Kipling Street and West 41st Avenue. According to witnesses, a 56-year-old man using a walker tripped while walking on the sidewalk along Kipling and tumbled into the street. A passing motorist stopped to try and help the man, but before aid could be rendered, another vehicle struck him and kept going.

No images of that car have been shared, but witnesses describe it as a blue or teal sedan — possibly a Chevy Cruze. A WRPD update at 1:43 a.m. September 30, noted that the victim was still in critical condition at an area hospital.

Those with information about either of these hit-and-runs can contact Jefferson County communications at Jefferson County Communications Center Authority, 303-980-7300, or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).
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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

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