Awaiting news on condition of officer hit by SUV

8:59 PM, May 28, 2012   |    comments
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The officer was talking with a 20-year-old man he had just pulled over for a traffic violation, when an SUV slammed into both of them and took off.

It happened at 12:05 a.m. Monday morning at the intersection of South Broadway Street and East Belleview Avenue.

According to police, Conner Donohue, 20, was driving the SUV. Police say he was caught a few minutes later and arrested.

The two men hit by the SUV were taken to Swedish Medical Center in Englewood.

The family of 20 year-old Kevin Montoya, the man who was pulled over, says he is improving, is talking and is conscious.

Witnesses say both men flew into the air upon impact, and the driver of the SUV fled the scene.

A witness followed the SUV and called 911. A few minutes later police pulled over Donohue.

They say he was intoxicated.

At the time of the crash, Kevin Montoya's uncle was in the passenger seat of his car.

"My eyes, I couldn't believe what I was seeing," said Robert Hunter, Montoya's uncle. "We heard stuff smashing and breaking and things flying and Kevin went flying I mean, I'm serious he was 20 feet off the ground and he went 50 feet out. He slammed off the curb up onto the sidewalk."

Montoya's father was also in the backseat.

"It was pretty horrifying actually to see your son go flying by your car after he got nailed by a truck," said Dennis Hunter, Montoya's father.

Montoya's family members say they are not sure why he was pulled over. The officer was discussing the reason for the stop when the collision occurred.

Montoya's family is questioning why he was brought out of the car in the first place.

"There was a five-foot wide sidewalk right here they both could have avoided getting hit if they would have went over here on the sidewalk," Hunter said. "There was no reason for them to be standing in the street."

An Englewood Police spokesperson says that is an option an officer will use from time to time.

"Sometimes what you want to do is pull the driver out and explain things and that apparently is what our officer was doing," Officer Perry Schellpfeffer, with the Englewood Police Department, said.

The hit and run took an emotional toll on the few dozen officers in the Englewood police force. Many stopped by the hospital to check on their fellow officer. Some were in tears by the afternoon, around the same time the media stopped receiving updates on the officer's condition.

9NEWS stopped by Conner Donohue's home in Aurora. His parents wouldn't answer the door, but a family member said over the phone they have no comment on his arrest.

Donohue's Facebook page says he's a 2010 graduate of Rangeview High School, was attending Metro State, and worked at King Soopers.

Donohue has no prior adult arrest record in the state of Colorado. He's now facing two counts of vehicular assault, two counts of fleeing the scene, and DUI.

Donohue's grandfather told 9NEWS over the phone, "He's a fantastic kid. He just got into a little trouble it seems like."
The officer is an eight-year veteran of the department. Englewood Police has 36 patrol officers on its force.



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