Caught on Camera: Driver who crashes into three parked cars cited for careless driving, no insurance

Victims had parked in front of auto repair shop

DENVER - A Denver man, who police say slammed into three parked cars on East Colfax Avenue near Oneida Street, has been cited for careless driving and no proof of insurance.

Jesus Guitierrez-Gaytan told investigators he was tired after wrestling all day and that he fell asleep at the wheel.

The accident was recorded by a security camera at Hotchkiss Auto Repair.

The video shows a Honda Odyssey minivan eastbound on Colfax plowing in the back of a Dodge Durango, which then plows into the back of a Jeep Grand Cherokee, which plows into the back of a Ford Taurus.

“That car had to be traveling 40-45 mph,” said repair shop owner David Hotchkiss. “If you look at it, there were no brakes at all… The front of the (minivan) didn’t even dip.”

The impact caved in both the front and back of the Durango, the back of the Grand Cherokee and the back of the Taurus.

It left the Odyssey’s front license plate embedded in the back of the Durango.

Hotchkiss said three customers had parked their vehicles in front of his repair shop Sunday, so he could check them out for needed mechanical repairs.

“You can imagine the nightmare of calling the customers,” Hotchkiss told 7NEWS. “They were probably expecting an estimate for (mechanical) repairs and instead you have to tell them that their car has been wrecked or totaled.”

The owner of the Durango showed up at Hotchkiss Auto Repair Monday afternoon, but said she was in no mood to talk about what happened.

Hotchkiss says he was stunned to learn that Guitierrez-Gaytan had no insurance.

“It just bothers me and I’m sure it bothers a lot of other people,” he said.

Denver police say they’re seeing more and more accidents involving uninsured drivers.

Hotchkiss said he was involved in one such accident two weeks ago while test-driving another customer’s car.

“I got hit from behind,” he said. “One of the guys in the other car got out and said, ‘There’s not much damage.’ I said, ‘That’s not for me to decide, that’s for the owner of this car to decide.’”

Hotchkiss said the men in the other car then took off.

“I followed them,” he said. “I’m trying to dial 911.  I get a hold of the operator. They said, ‘Pull over and stop immediately.’ I said, ‘You don’t understand. If I stop, you’re not going to get this guy. There’s no license plate.’”

Hotchkiss said he’d like to see state lawmakers address the issue of people driving without insurance.

“What are my customers supposed to do?” he asked. “The one who drives the Durango, that’s her only car.”

Police say it doesn’t appear that the Guitierrez-Gaytan was driving under the influence.

But Hotchkiss said he can’t help but wonder if the driver and two passengers had been drinking.

He said security video shows one of the passengers walking around the corner of the building to apparently relieve himself.