Bonnie Roesink, district attorney for the 14th Judicial District, announced Monday evening that her office will not file vehicular homicide charges against Morrison resident Dustin Lund.
The family of Michael Bailey, a Craig man who died from injuries sustained in an October crash, had lobbied the district attorney's office to file the felony charge against Lund.
Lund was allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine when his vehicle collided with Bailey's on U.S. Highway 40, about a mile east of Hayden.
Roesink met with Bailey's son, Jordan Bailey, and sister, Kathy Oberwitte, Monday afternoon at the district attorney's Craig office. She said a review of the case led prosecutors to the "conclusion that the original decision to pursue a charge of careless driving involving death was the correct judgment.
"We have deep sympathy for the family and friends of Michael Bailey," Roesink wrote in a press release issued Monday evening. "However, the district attorney's office is ethically obligated to charge only that which it can prove beyond a reasonable doubt, through the use of admissible evidence."
Oberwitte and Jordan Bailey expressed frustration at the district attorney's decision.
"They gave us this big, long-winded presentation on what they can present to the jury," Obertwitte said. "It was just a bunch of crap.
"Did I expect them to admit they were wrong? No."
Jordan Bailey said when it became obvious to him that Roesink was not going to file the harsher charge against Lund, he became upset and left the meeting.
"I was sitting there listening and just walked out," he said. "Basically, (they) wasted our time."
Roesink's release indicates her office's examination of the case included reviews by the office's investigator, all senior attorneys and two experienced prosecutors from other Colorado jurisdictions, one of whom is the "top expert in the state on the admission of evidence at trial."
Lund was originally charged in Routt County with careless driving resulting in death, a misdemeanor. Roesink decided to re-evaluate the case after Bailey's family lobbied for harsher charges, and, she said, the Colorado State Patrol presented additional information in the case.
Lund was prepared to plead guilty to the charge before prosecutors vacated it, Roesink said.