DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — The driver convicted of striking and killing a motorcyclist who was waiting at a red light in Sedalia was sentenced to nine years in prison Tuesday.
Douglas County District Court Judge David Stevens sentenced Ronald Hargrove, 49, of Parker to nine years for leaving the scene of a crash that involved a death, which is a Class 3 felony.
The motorcyclist was identified after the crash as 69-year-old Suzanne Weston of Parker.
According to the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, during the sentencing, Stevens told Hargrove that he took the risk of getting behind the wheel that day.
“Everyone who was on the roadway that day was put at risk — the numbers caught up with you,” he said.
The crash occurred on Oct. 12, 2017. Weston had been riding her motorcycle single-file with three other motorcyclists northbound on U.S. 85 in Douglas County. The group moved into the left-turn lane and slowed at the red light at the Colorado 67 intersection in Sedalia. Weston was last in the line.
Hargrove was driving a 2010 Dodge Ram in the same area, headed northbound on U.S 85. The truck moved from the right lane into the left lane, cutting off witnesses in another vehicle. He then struck Weston and continued off the right side of the southbound lanes, through a ditch and onto a frontage road, according to the district attorney’s office.
“Hargrove got out of his truck, walked over to Weston lying in the road, then got back in the truck and continued driving on the frontage road, eventually heading southbound on 85,” the office said.
Witnesses were able to catch the truck’s license plate number and Hargrove was pulled over and arrested a short time later. He admitted to fleeing from the scene of the crash because there were warrants out for his arrest, according to the district attorney’s office.
Weston was taken to the hospital, but did not survive her injuries.
Hargrove had been driving “with a revoked license and no sleep,” according to the office. He had two previous DUI convictions but refused to follow through with treatment. He violated out of the substance abuse programs, Stevens said Tuesday.
The judge also noted that Hargrove had low levels of alcohol, THC and prescription medications in his system at the time of the crash.
Colorado does not mandate prison time for either of those offenses.
Weston’s husband, friends and family asked the judge for a strong sentence. Prosecutors called for Stevens to impose the maximum sentence of 18 years in prison.
“It wasn’t an accident in the moments after he crashed,” Deputy District Attorney Dan Warhola told Stevens. “He got out of his truck, looked at what he had done, walked back to his truck and fled the scene. It was a choice. He left Suzanne Weston to die in the middle of the highway.”
Stevens sentenced Hargrove to nine years.
“Hargrove’s sentence will end all too soon,” said DA George Brauchler. “The sentence he imposed on Suzanne Weston will be forever.”