Dennis Esquibel sentenced to 24 years for the hit-and-run that killed Laura McDermot in Denver

New sign commemorates McDermot

DENVER - A new sign at a busy Denver intersection commemorates the life of a woman killed in a hit-and-run crash for which the driver will now spend 24 years in prison.

Dennis Esquibel, 26, pleaded guilty earlier this year to the hit and run that killed Laura McDermott, 26.

McDermott was hit at the intersection of South Broadway and Cedar Avenue in the early morning hours of Sept. 23, 2012. She was crossing the road and had turned around to speak to her boyfriend, who was just a few steps behind.

The impact knocked McDermott about 180 feet south on Broadway, according to a police diagram of the collision.

Investigators recovered one of McDermott's sandals across the intersection from the impact. They also recovered black and brown pieces of the car's trim, a turn signal assembly and a clear piece of turn-signal lens, the police report said.

McDermott's boyfriend, Nate Iler, told 7NEWS he was a step behind her when the car came roaring down the street.

"I briefly turned back to say something to a friend about a concert," Iler said. "She got a few steps ahead of me. That's when they hit her."

Laura’s father, Jerry McDermott, told 7NEWS that he had given permission for Iler to propose.

"Nate asked for our permission in July and was having a ring made and I think she was going to get it next weekend" Jerry McDermott said shortly after his daughter died.

Police said Esquibel drove away from the collision, but his car was later found along South Jason Street.

A Crime Stoppers tip was called instrumental in making Esquibel's arrest. His 24-year sentence is the maximum possible under his guilty plea for leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.

In addition, Esquibel was ordered to pay $10,544.74.

The sign erected Friday at the intersection where McDermott was killed reminds passersby to "Please drive safely."