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Colorado Accidents: Fatalities, Personal Injuries and Prison

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Motor vehicle accidents can have a wide variety of consequences, both physical and legal. Here are two Colorado accidents that resulted in fatalities, personal injuries and severe legal repercussions for the at-fault parties.

Daniel Ogden of Fort Collins, Colorado was sentenced to six years in prison Tuesday for causing a fatal DUI crash. 23 year-old Christopher Burnett was killed when Ogden’s vehicle turned left in front of it, causing the two vehicles to collide. Evidence presented in court demonstrated that Burnett was speeding, doing almost 80 mph, and Ogden was intoxicated.

Judge Stephen Schapanski levied the sentence in spite of recommendations for a lesser punishment, as reported by Nate Taylor of The Coloradoan:

An hour and 30 minutes after the crash, police said Ogden had a blood alcohol level of .195 and estimated he had eight to 12 beers before attempting to drive home. The legal limit for DUI in Colorado is .08.

‘A non-(department of corrections) sentence would unduly minimize what has occurred here,’ Schapanski said just before announcing his decision.

Schapanski stated that his verdict was made after considering a number of aspects of the case, including Ogden’s criminal past, safety of the community, and the nature of the crime. Ogden has stated that he will appeal the verdict.

The consequences of an accident, whether physical or legal, can alter the course of a person’s life. Burnett lost his life, and Ogden is facing serious jail time as a result of this tragic car accident.

Then there’s the case of Debbie Pyatok, who survived a hit and run motorcycle accident in Adams County, Colorado. She was riding with her boyfriend on his new Harley Davidson motorcycle when an oncoming car swerved into their lane causing the bike to crash. Her boyfriend, John Brand, was rushed into surgery but did not make it.

Even though Pyatok’s personal injuries are limited, she now has to overcome the painful loss of her loved one.

Paul Day, a reporter for CBS 4, writes:

Brand was 59 years old and a disabled Vietnam veteran. A father and grandfather, he and Pyatok had been dating two years. Pyatok said she doesn’t think the tragedy has sunk in yet.

‘We had so many plans. We were going to buy a house or townhome, it’s hard,’ she said.

Image by abardwell, used under its Creative Commons license.


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