DENVER – The driver of a commercial food truck accused of hitting and killing a Colorado State Trooper on Interstate 25 near Castle Rock back in November is facing an additional charge in the case.
Noe Gamez-Ruiz, 41, of Denver has been with criminally negligent homicide, a Class 5 felony by the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
The charge carries a presumptive sentencing range of 1-3 years in the Department of Corrections, a spokesman for the DA said in a press release.
Video evidence of deadly crash
Two videos show the Gamez-Ruiz drifted over the solid white line on the side of Interstate 25 and hit and killed a Colorado State Patrol trooper on Nov. 25, 2016, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
The arrest warrant for Gamez-Ruiz stated Troopers Cody Donahue and Matthew Normandin were investigating a crash on northbound I-25 at approximately mile marker 179 that afternoon.
Both troopers were in marked patrol cars with their patrol lights flashing, according to the arrest warrant.
At 1:50 p.m, Trooper Normandin said he was sitting in his car, and Trooper Donahue was next to a wrecked vehicle, when a semi crossed the solid white line and hit Donahue.
Trooper Normandin said he immediately went to Trooper Donahue, but he said Donahue was already deceased.
The driver of the semi immediately pulled over. The driver, later identified as Gamez-Ruiz, agreed to take a voluntary blood test and was taken to a hospital for that test. The results have not yet been released.
Video from Gamez-Ruiz's truck and Donahue's vehicle show Gamez-Ruiz drifted over the fog lane and struck the trooper, according to the arrest warrant. The videos have not been released.
Investigators said there was room for Gamez-Ruiz to move over to the No. 2 lane, away from the troopers, which is required by law, but Gamez-Ruiz did not.
Gamez-Ruiz is also being charged with failure to yield the right away to a stationary emergency vehicle and careless driving causing death.
This incident is Gamez-Ruiz only arrest in the state, according to Colorado Bureau Investigation records.
The charge brings a maximum sentence of one year in prison, if convicted. Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler explained the low-level charges Monday to Denver7.
Donahue was an 11-year veteran of the force. He was stationed at the Castle Rock office and leaves behind a family including two elementary school-aged children.
A GoFundMe account was set up by the Colorado State Patrol to help raise money for the family.