FORT COLLINS - An accused drunk driver freed from jail just hours before he was involved in a crash that killed his son has two prior DUI convictions in Colorado, according to court officials.
John Hite, 45, is being held on a $100,000 bond at the Larimer County Jail after being arrested Friday morning. The Colorado State Patrol says Hite was drunk and speeding when the Chevrolet pickup he was driving crashed and rolled near Horsetooth Reservoir west of Fort Collins.
The crash happened about 12:30 a.m. on Dec. 27. Hite had been released from jail at about 7 p.m. on Dec. 26, after receiving bond for failing to appear for court on a previous drunk-driving arrest in Loveland.
Citing the "catastrophic consequences" of Friday morning's crash, Magistrate Matthew Zehe ordered Hite to be held on $100,000 bond. Zehe also ordered that if Hite is released on bond, he's not allowed to leave his house without court approval. At the time of the crash, Hite was barred from driving because he lacked a valid license, Zehe said.
Appearing via video from the jail, Hite showed no emotion as Zehe noted two previous drunk-driving convictions in Colorado. Zehe said Hite has also been previously charged in another state - he didn't specify - with felony drunk driving, which Zehe said is usually only charged following multiple previous DUI convictions.
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