Police: Good Samaritans hit by drunk driver while helping victims of separate drunk driving crash

BOULDER, Colo. -- For 22-year-old Sona Shrestha, details from Sunday night are still missing, like the one that nearly stole her life.

"I didn't see the car coming at all," Shrestha said.

"The next thing you remember is what?" asked Denver7 reporter Molly Hendrickson.

"Waking up in the hospital," Shrestha replied.

Colorado State Patrol said it all started around 10:30 p.m., when Shrestha and her family ran to help victims after witnessing another alleged drunk driving crash on North Foothills Highway near Violet Avenue in Boulder County. 

Police said a Toyota Scion driven by Emilio Clavel-Fuentes, 51, crashed into another car. Little did they know, there was more danger careening toward them.

"I don't think he even tried to stop at all," said Sona's brother, Sagun Shrestha.

CSP said that's when Jose Hernandez-Altamira, also allegedly driving drunk, slammed his Mercedes into the scene, hitting Sona and another Good Samaritan -- AJ short, 25 -- who tried to push her out of the way.

"After that, I don't remember anything that happened," Sona Shrestha said.

It turns out, Hernandez-Altamira shouldn't have been driving at all. Police said his license was revoked and the 23-year-old had two previous DUIs in just eight months.

"As soon as I hear he was drunk, I just got super angry," Sagun Shrestha said.

"I don't know why people drink and drive, it's so dangerous -- how many peoples' lives it takes. I can't even walk at graduation," said Sona Shrestha, holding back tears.

The crash fractured Sona's spine and pelvis, bruised her kidney and left her with lacerations and bruises on her face. AJ Short suffered a broken hip and leg. Both are recovering at Boulder Community Health's Foothills Hospital in good condition.

Hernandez-Altamira, who police said tried to run from the scene, was arrested on suspicion of DUI, vehicular assault and careless driving resulting in injury.

Clavel-Fuentes will be charged with DUI.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover medical expenses for AJ Short.

Print this article Back to Top