State trooper killed on I-25 identified; driver charged
CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Authorities say a driver accused of hitting and killing a Colorado State Patrol trooper has been charged and released from jail.
Investigators said Saturday that 41-year-old Noe Gamez-Ruiz, of Denver, was charged with a traffic offense and careless driving resulting in the death of Trooper Cody Donahue. The 11-year veteran of the State Patrol died Friday after he was struck by a commercial vehicle while investigating a traffic crash on Interstate 25 south of Castle Rock.
Police say Gamez-Ruiz remained at the scene. He posted bond early Saturday and was released from jail. He could not immediately be reached for comment, and records don’t list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Trooper Cody Donahue died at the scene, and the northbound lanes of the interstate were expected to be closed throughout the evening. Investigators did not say if he was outside of his vehicle when he was hit, and no other information was expected to be released Friday.
“We don’t call them accidents. This was a crash,” Trooper Josh Lewis told reporters. “Crashes like this one can be avoided.”
It was the third such death in two years.
Taylor Thyfault, a 21-year-old State Patrol cadet, was killed in May 2015 when he and a trooper were hit while trying to stop a fleeing car near Longmont. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of trooper.
The driver in that crash was convicted of first-degree murder and is set to be sentenced Tuesday.
In November 2015, Trooper Jaimie Jursevics, 33, was hit and killed by a drunken driver while she was investigating a crash near Castle Rock. A retired Army colonel was sentenced to eight years in prison for hitting her and fleeing the scene.
Prosecutors said he had spent the day drinking at a Denver Broncos game before the crash.
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