Grandmother dies 10 days after hit-and-run

5:59 AM, Feb 22, 2012   |    comments
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Max and Carmen Gallegos were driving home from an evening of bingo on Feb. 11 when they were hit at 12:38 a.m. at the intersection of South Federal Boulevard and West Alameda Avenue.

Police say 22-year-old Jesus Obeth Armenta was speeding down Federal early Saturday when his 1997 Mercury Mountaineer rear-ended the Gallegos' Dodge Neon and pushed them into the path of an oncoming van.

Police say Armenta fled the scene after the crash, but was later found and taken into custody.

Armenta was charged with felony hit-and-run and vehicular assault and now faces new charges in light of Gallegos' death.

He is being held on a $50,000 bond.

Carmen Gallegos was 79 and Max Gallegos is 75.

According to their children, the couple would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in August.

The hit-and-run left Carmen Gallegos with broken bones and massive internal injuries.

"Carmen lost her battle for life due to internal injuries," her grandson Octavio Madrid Jr. said.

Colorado House Bill 1084 is a proposal to make hit-and-runs a more serious crime.

An online summary says the bill "would increase the penalty for leaving the scene of a serious bodily injury crash from a class 5 felony to a class 4, making it equivalent to drunk driving."

According to the online legislative summary, "current Colorado law gives drunk drivers, especially repeat offenders, an incentive to not stop at the scene of a crash and call for help of injured people. Instead, current law rewards drunk drivers with a lesser penalty for fleeing the scene and trying to hide out until they are sober. The consequence of this loophole may be life or death for someone needing immediate medical attention at the scene of a crash."

The bill has bipartisan support, yet there are concerns over a high price tag for increased jail time for offenders.

The state's Department of Corrections would have to pay an extra $200,000 in 2013 and 2014, increasing to more than $500,000 in 2014 and 2015, according to the latest fiscal note attached to the bill.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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