Sobbing Aurora teacher, Erin Jackson, appears in court on hit-and-run that injured East High student

Student stable, still in critical condition

DENVER - A sobbing Aurora teacher appeared in Denver court Friday morning in the hit-and-run collision that critically injured an East High School.

Erin Jackson, 30, is accused of hitting the 16-year-old student Wednesday morning and fleeing the scene.

She is being held in jail on investigation of felony leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury and misdemeanor careless driving resulting in serious bodily injury. The felony charge carries a maximum six-year jail penalty. The judge raised her bond from $5,000 to $25,000.

Jackson, wearing a yellow-and-white jail uniform, was distraught and sobbing in court.

The judge explained the routine conditions if she is released on bond, including that she cannot contact the victim, possess weapons or use alcohol or controlled substances.

"Yes, your honor," the teacher replied in a quavering voice when the judge asked if she understood the conditions.

Surveillance video captured the victim walking north in the crosswalk at Colfax Avenue and Elizabeth Street Wednesday morning when a gray sedan ran a red light and hit her.

“After being struck by the car, the vehicle continued to flee eastbound,” Denver Police Detective Michael Bochert.

Police said they recovered the suspect’s vehicle, a Chevrolet Malibu, at East Colfax Avenue and Gaylord Street -- five blocks from where the student was struck.

Jackson is a fifth grade teacher at an Aurora charter school, AXL Academy. She teaches science, English and social studies, according to her LinkedIn page.

On the school's website, it says that Jackson recently moved here from Massachusetts, and "is passionate about learning, helping her students... and enjoys slam poetry."

Police wouldn’t say if Jackson was heading to work when she allegedly struck the teenager.

AXL Academy’s Head of School, Audra Philippon, released a statement Thursday night concerning the arrest of Jackson:

"We are shocked to learn of Erin’s involvement in this terrible accident," the statement said. " We can confirm that Erin has been employed as an intermediate teacher at AXL for approximately 8 months. We are keeping the victim in our thoughts and prayers and wish her a full recovery.  At this time, our top priority is supporting our students as they learn of this sad news."

Lt. Robert Rock, of the Denver Police Department, said that video was widely seen and likely played a role in the suspect turning herself in.

“Who turns themselves in at 4:30 in the morning?” Rock said. “She must not have gotten much sleep.”

Rock added that the victim’s family is pleased by the arrest.

“It was very troubling to them that somebody would be involved in this collision and then leave the scene,” Rock said. “So they’re very happy on one hand, but still, very traumatized on the other.”

Rock said family members told him the teenager is now stable, but still in critical condition.

“They said she may have a long recovery ahead,” he said.

Fellow students at East High School told 7NEWS they are grateful that an arrest has been made.

“I’m just happy that we got an arrest,” said Angel Trujillo, “because no one deserves to get hit like that.”

A friend of the victim told 7NEWS that she, too, is glad that the person allegedly responsible came forward.

She described the girl who was hit as a quiet, no-drama friend.

“She’s the sweetest, nicest girl I know,” the friend said.

Just minutes after the teenager was hit in the crosswalk, a second East High student was struck at Colfax and Fillmore Street in an unrelated incident. Police said that victim stepped out into traffic and was hit.

The driver in that collision stopped.  Police said the second accident was not the driver’s fault.

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