One of the most shocking incidents of May 2011 involved the wrong-way crash that killed Lilly Duncan, a 31-year-old Colorado Springs mom, leaving her daughter Dyrah, then twelve, without a living parent. Victoria Barry was arrested for the crime -- and while her conviction on most of the counts against her provides closure for Lilly's loved ones, it hardly compensates for their loss.
As we reported last year, Dyrah and Lilly's mom, Diana Smith, were emotionally devastated in media appearances following the crash. Diana tearfully noted that Lilly wouldn't be there when Dyrah got married or had a child, while Dyrah demonstrated amazing maturity for someone in her position when she said,"Even though the girl did a wrong thing, that doesn't make her mean."
True enough -- but the repercussions of her actions early on May 14 of last year were undeniably cruel. According to the arrest warrant affidavit on view below, a dark blue Lexus driven by Barry was traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of Intersate 25. One driver was able to swerve out of the way, but others weren't so lucky. The Lexus soon struck a gold Nissan driven by Duncan, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The collision then caused the Lexus to spin into a third vehicle, a red Mercury SUV containing Christopher Saenz, Marsha Barela and Jason Maez, the latter of whom was just eight years old. All three had to be transported to a hospital, but fortunately, their injuries were minor.
As for Barry, she told officers that earlier in the evening, she'd had a drink at the Candlelight Tavern -- and it must have been a mighty big one, given that she reportedly registered a .219 blood alcohol content -- nearly triple the legal limit. According to her, she remembered getting into her car and entering the highway, but that was pretty much it, at least until she realized she was surrounded by firemen.
A jury didn't convict Barry on every charge against; she was found not guilty of a third-degree assault accusation. However, she was convicted on an identical charge in addition to two counts of vehicular homicide and driving under the influence. At this writing, her next court date hasn't been set. However, she faces up to twelve years behind bars.
Here's a larger look at Barry's mug shot, followed by the aforementioned affidavit.
Follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Ready Room bar shooting injures five wedding-reception guests."
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.