Family of woman killed in drunk driving crash frustrated with court

THORNTON, Colo. -- A Thornton family lost their mom, who is also a grandmother, to an alleged drunk driver in May.

But eight months later, their heartbreak is compounded by a suspect who failed to show up in Adams County Court on Tuesday -- and he isn’t facing any consequences for it.

Ruane Richardson was allegedly hit by a convicted drunk driver on Washington Street on May 6. She was getting her purse that had fallen off her motorcycle.

The 48-year-old had a boisterous zest for life, and a strength to carry her family through good times and bad.

But her strength was no match against a speeding SUV about 1 a.m.

“A drunk man hit her and broke 17 of her bones. She had 0 percent chance of survival,” said Richardson’s daughter, Kyrie Richardson, 28.

The man who police said hit her is 31-year-old Dustin James Wallace.

On Tuesday, Richardson’s family got their first chance to see Wallace in Adams County Court, but he was a no-show.

“Apparently, he showed up [Wednesday], and they did not arrest him. They let him go and rescheduled his court again for next month. And it’s not fair,” Kyrie Richardson said.

What’s more unfair, the family said, is the district attorney's office is not charging Wallace with Richardson’s death because they say she contributed to the crash by crossing the street.

“We are very frustrated and upset. We don’t feel like this is being handled the way it should be and it's not fair to my mom and her family,” Kyrie Richardson said.

And eight months since her death, the family struggles every day without her.

“Oh, I hate getting emotional,” Kyrie Richardson said. “But it’s been really difficult because she was a big part of our lives you know. And she is gone forever. It breaks our heart because we will never see her again. Ever.”

A judge issued a failure to appear arrest warrant Tuesday for Wallace. But he vacated it when Wallace showed up Wednesday morning.

Adams County District Attorney Dave Young said that’s not unusual for a judge to do in a DUI case. Wallace is due back in court next month to face a charge of DUI.

It is his second DUI arrest. He pleaded guilty to one in Arvada in 2013.