Semitruck driver killed in fiery I-70 hit-and-run involving undocumented immigrant identified

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DENVER -- The semitruck driver who was killed in a fiery hit-and-run crash on Interstate 70 that involved an undocumented immigrant has been identified.

The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner said 57-year-old John Anderson of Lone Tree was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash at eastbound Interstate 70 and Brighton Boulevard on March 3.

An autopsy was completed and the cause and manner of death are pending investigation.

A funeral was held Saturday at Horan and McConaty in Centennial. Anderson was a native of Eureka, California.

Ivan Zamarripa-Castaneda, 26, was driving a pickup truck when it crashed into the semitruck just before midnight on March 3, causing a large fire, the Denver Police Department said.

Police said Zamarripa-Castaneda fled the scene. He was arrested the next day at his home in the 2600 block of West Bayaud Avenue.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Zamarripa-Castaneda’s speech was slurred and his breath had a moderate odor of unknown alcohol.

Zamarripa-Castaneda has been charged with one count of vehicular homicide-DUI and one count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.

U.S. Immigration and Customs agents wanted to take Zamarripa-Castaneda into custody because of his immigration status in an effort to get him deported to Mexico.

It requested a notification from the Denver Sheriff's Department if Zamarripa-Castaneda was going to be released.

Zamarripa-Castaneda posted a $25,000 bond at 5:28 p.m. Saturday, but ICE wasn't notified that he was being released until an hour later.

When agents arrived at the detention center, he was already gone. That prompted Denver Sheriff Patrick Firman to call for an internal investigation.

"This is unacceptable and the sheriff has ordered an immediate internal review to determine why established notification processes did not take place before Zamarripa-Castaneda was released," the sheriff's department said in a statement.

ICE called Zamarripa-Castaneda an immigration fugitive and said, "As law enforcement professionals, we should all have the same ultimate goal in mind -- to protect the public by combating criminals."

Zamarripa-Castaneda is due back in court on April 2.

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