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Man sentenced in Arapahoe County deadly drunk road rage crash

Hector Frias-Chavarria mug.jpg
Posted at 10:20 PM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-29 00:20:11-04

DENVER — A man who pleaded guilty to a deadly drunk driving crash has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Hector Frias-Chavarria, 24, pleaded guilty on Feb. 8 to one count of vehicular homicide DUI and five counts of vehicular assault DUI for the 2019 crash that killed Valerie Vigil, 19, and injured several other people, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Valerie Vigil arapahoe crash.jpg

Frias-Chavarria was driving his white Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck in unincorporated Arapahoe County on Sept. 18, 2019 when he was involved a minor traffic incident with a gray Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck. Frias-Chavarria was chasing the other pickup on Watkins Road north of E. Jewel Avenue and south of I-70. He tried to pass the other pickup and collided with a Volkswagen Jetta at 60 mph, according to the DA’s office. The other pickup then crashed into Frias-Chavarria.

The crash tore the engine and transaxle from the Jetta and sent it into a nearby field.

Vigil was one of the passengers inside the Jetta, and she died at the scene. The driver of the Jetta and her other three passengers were all seriously injured. Frias-Chavarria had minor injuries and his passenger was seriously injured. The driver of the other pickup had moderate injuries and his two juvenile passengers had minor injuries.

“This defendant made the decision to drink and get in his truck with passengers and cause this violent wreck that caused the gruesome death of my daughter,” Vigil’s father said in court. “He robbed the world of a very kind and compassionate person. This is not about revenge, it is about justice.”

Frias-Chavarria was sentenced on Sept. 23. As part of his plea agreement, other charges were dismissed.