Another high-profile Colorado vehicular homicide case is in the news this year, this time taking place in Lakewood, just outside of Denver. As the Denver Post reports, 24-year-old Derek Roland Romero has admitted fault in the drunk driving crash that took the life of 59-year-old Frank Disanto and has been convicted of vehicular homicide.
The crash took place on February 4, 2016 at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard. According to police, Romero proceeded through a red light at about 60 mph. When questioned by police on-site, Romero indicated that he knew that he was at fault for the accident.
"I’m sorry I messed up," Romero told police, according to court documents. "I was just trying to catch the light." Romero also admitted that he had been drinking. Mr. Disanto died six days later due serious spinal and head injuries.
Court documents also note that Romero, at the time of the crash, had a cancelled license and had a warrant out for his arrest for an unrelated matter. He is scheduled to be sentenced in February of next year.
Penalties for Vehicular Homicide
Any crime that results in the death of someone else is taken seriously in the state of Colorado. Colorado Revised Statute 18-3-106 classifies vehicular homicide as a Class 3 felony when drunk driving is involved. It can result in up to 12 years in prison for the convicted—or 24 years if the court believes there to be aggravating circumstances in the case.
It is unclear whether the circumstances of Romero's arrest will be considered aggravated. It will likely depend on the outstanding warrant and the nature of his alleged previous offense.
If you have been charged with drunk driving then you may still have viable defense options. At Orr Law Firm, our dedicated and knowledgeable Denver DUI defense attorneys pride themselves on our exacting and effective approach to DUI cases. We know what it takes to secure favorable results for our clients and are ready to take proactive steps on your behalf.
Want to learn more? Request a free case evaluation with us today.