Wheat Ridge police searching for driver who hit, injured traffic safety officer

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. -- Wheat Ridge police are searching for a driver who allegedly hit a traffic safety officer during a funeral procession and then drove away. Rick Dauria suffered a shoulder injury but says it could have been much worse.

Dauria started City-Wide Protection 10 years ago as a funeral escort service. He and his team deal with traffic every single day.

“It’s becoming challenging for us to even work safely. But this is the worst that has ever happened," he said.

On April 3, he was directing traffic at the intersection of West 44th Avenue and Youngsfield Street in Wheat Ridge when he says a woman became impatient.

"She was weaving in and out of the procession, honking her horn, trying to get in front of the procession," Dauria said.

Dauria was out of his car and tried to stop her.

“She stared at me, threw her hands up, hit the steering wheel and decided to floor her accelerator, coming right at me," he said.

Dauria tried to jump out of the way, but the vehicle's mirror hit his right shoulder, spinning him around.

“What scares me [is] it was intentional. It wasn't an accident. She intentionally tried to run me over because she couldn't wait 10 seconds for the procession," he said.

Despite being injured, Dauria jumped in his car and tried to follow the woman, but lost her in an office park off Table Mountain Parkway.

His dash cams did catch pictures of the car, and now he is hoping police will be able to track her down.

“It hurts my heart. The fact that she has total disregard for life, especially during a funeral. I hope wherever she is, she realizes what she did and that she doesn't hurt somebody else," Dauria said.

The SUV that struck Dauria.

The woman was driving a gray/blue SUV. They were not able to get a license plate number. If you have any information about who that woman is, you can call Wheat Ridge police at 303-237-2220.

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