Man receives maximum sentence for Memorial Day 2017 vehicular homicide on Highway 40
July 20, 2018
HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS — Felix Cervantes, the driver who crashed head-on into another vehicle and killed the passenger, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison by Grand County District Judge Mary Hoak following his conviction on one count of reckless vehicular homicide and one count of reckless vehicular assault.
The crash occurred May 29, Memorial Day, on U.S. Highway 40 near mile marker 161, east of Rabbit Ears Pass. Cervantes was traveling at a high rate of speed up a hill crest and attempted to pass a car and a semi-truck in a no passing zone. Cervantes crashed into the victim’s vehicle head-on, killing the passenger and severely injuring the driver.
Cervantes, who had warrants for his arrest at the time of the crash, was not impaired by alcohol or drugs, according to Colorado State Patrol.
Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Dowdell asked Hoak during the sentencing hearing to give Cervantes the maximum sentence of 18 years, both to provide closure for the victims and ensure the safety of the community.
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“This represents one of the worst case scenarios, when people get impatient traveling on a two-way lane mountain highway,” Dowdell said in a news release. “Traffic safety on our mountain roads in Northwest Colorado is a critical priority, and the sentence here should send a clear message that reckless indifference to human life on the road brings the heaviest of consequences.”
The investigation was conducted by the Colorado State Patrol with assistance from Grand County coroner, emergency medical services and local law enforcement agencies. The case was prosecuted by Dowdell and Assistant District Attorney Matt Karzen.