Police track down suspect in officer hit-and-run after tipster saw Problem Solvers story

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. -- Wheat Ridge police have identified a driver who hit a traffic safety officer during a funeral procession and then took off, thanks to help from viewers who saw a FOX31 Problem Solvers story.

According to the police report, Terri Larson was “tracked down after a KDVR story brought in several tips” and "she sold her vehicle right after KDVR news story came out." She works in the area where the crash happened on April 3.

The victim, Rick Dauria, said he didn’t think there was a chance of solving his case. “I honestly did not think it would go anywhere because we had nothing, we had no license plate."

Dauria was directing traffic for a funeral procession at the intersection of 44th and Youngsfield. He said, “You can’t tell me you didn’t see me. You saw me, you stopped, you stared at me, you got fed up with waiting and you threw your hands down on the steering wheel and then floored it towards me.”

He said he tried to jump out of the way, but her mirror hit his right shoulder, spinning him around before she took off.

His dash cam caught a glimpse of her car, so he asked the Problem Solvers to help track her down. Once FOX31 aired the story, Wheat Ridge police received an anonymous tip.

Dauria is so grateful that investigators chased down every lead. He said, “You solved the problem, bar none. If it wasn’t for you guys, they wouldn’t have got the tip and she would’ve gotten away.”

He is still being treated for a shoulder injury.

Larson was cited for careless driving and leaving the scene of an accident with injuries. She is due in court on June 25.

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