Witnesses follow car, help police arrest alleged driver in fatal Lakewood hit-and-run

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Witnesses followed a car that hit a pedestrian near the intersection of Wadsworth Boulevard and West Colfax Avenue and then fled the scene.

The woman struck by the vehicle later died, but thanks in part to the efforts of bystanders, police were able to track down the car and ultimately arrest the driver.

Lakewood Police said the pedestrian, described as a woman in her mid-40s, was crossing Colfax mid-block near intersection -- not using the crosswalk -- around 11:50 p.m. Thursday, when she was struck by the car, which was driving westbound on Colfax.

Witnesses in the area followed the vehicle for a short while, taking a detailed description. Police say those descriptions helped them track the car to an apartment complex just over a mile away near the intersection of Garrison Street and West 13th Avenue.

Police took the driver into custody at the apartment complex, and said that individual was cooperating with their investigation.

Officers also praised the vigilant bystanders in this case.

"We can't do our job without the citizens out here helping us every day," Lakewood Police Sgt. Dave Hoover said. "It's extremely important for everybody to understand that the relationship we have with our community is so important to help us solve these crimes, help families get closure and help bring these individuals to justice."

Investigators said they believe alcohol played a role in the crash, and that the suspect currently in custody has a troubling DUI history.

Though Colfax was closed between Wadsworth and Zephyr for close to five hours Friday morning, police had the closure lifted in time for the morning commute.

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