Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy hurt in hit-and-run identified; driver arrested

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(Photo: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)

(Photo: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- The Colorado State Patrol said Thursday the driver involved in a hit-and-run that sent a Jefferson County sheriff's deputy to the hospital has been arrested.

The incident happened during a massive pileup caused by snow and ice that shut down Interstate 70 near the Chief Hosa exit on Wednesday night.

Jefferson County sheriff's Deputy Sheila Kirin. (Photo: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)

Jefferson County sheriff's Deputy Sheila Kirin. (Photo: Jefferson County Sheriff's Office)

The deputy, 35-year-old Sheila Kirin, was working at the scene when a vehicle tried to go around the squad vehicle and clipped her hand. She was transported to a hospital and was treated for a broken wrist.

The suspect vehicle was described as a gold hatchback and the CSP said the driver, 62-year-old Robert Landsperg, turned himself in to the Colorado State Patrol just after 2 a.m. and was taken into custody. He was booked into the Jefferson County Jail.

At least 20 and perhaps 30 vehicles, some of them cars some of them trucks, were involved in the crashes. Many of the vehicles were totaled and the interstate had to be shut down to clean up the wrecks.

“My first thought was making sure bystanders and drivers stayed in their car," said Kirin, a four-year veteran of the sheriff's office. "I wasn't concerned about me. It hadn't really sunk in yet, the reality of me being struck by a car.

“I feel bad that I snapped at a guy, but I wanted him to stay in his truck so no one else got hit.”

Kirin said she is grateful for the support she has received.

“I’m really thankful for all the bystanders,” she said. “They were really wonderful and kept asking if I was OK. The guy in the truck was super concerned and super sweet.”

Drivers said the conditions were so bad, there was little they could do to try to avoid trouble.

"We were in the center lane trying to slow down. Ran into the back of a truck, spun around," Dan Lyons said. "We were clipped by another car coming. There were 10 or 15 cars all trying to slow down. No one could do anything. All out of control."

Other than the deputy, no other drivers were hurt. But some did get tickets for not having the right tires for the conditions.

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