Dog killed in hit-and-run crash in west Denver; driver cited

DENVER –On Wednesday, Denver police cited Cassandra Cardona, 21, for careless driving and leaving the scene of a crash without reporting it to police.

Cardona is believed to be responsible for running into a parked car, then running over and killing a family's beloved dog.

It happened just after 8 p.m. last Wednesday at the intersection of West 10th Avenue and Wolff Street in the Villa Park neighborhood.

Randi Gauvin said her dog, Angel, a 3-year-old boxer mix, got out of their fenced yard and was running down the sidewalk. Her boyfriend and 3-year-old son were trying to catch the dog.

The driver of a black Chevy Tahoe hit a parked van. Neighbors say that noise spooked Angel, who ran out into the street and into the path of the Tahoe. The driver hit Angel and did not stop.

“I describe her like a daughter. I feel like most people, when they have a dog and really love a dog, it’s more like a family member, more than just a pet. She loved everyone, got along with all the other dogs. She would introduce herself all the time and was really excited all the time. I feel like it really hurt us. She didn’t have a mean bone in her body. That is what hurt us the most. She meant the world to us," Gauvin said.

Several neighbors caught the crashes on their surveillance cameras. They are hoping it helps police identify the driver.

“I’m sure it would be really hard for the person to come forward and take responsibility, but it’s definitely the right thing to do. Maybe it would allow Angel’s owners to have some closure," neighbor Tracy Collins said.

Another neighbor was walking her dog at a park a few blocks away Thursday morning. She spotted a Chevy Tahoe parked in a grassy area at the park. She said it matches the SUV seen in the surveillance video leaving the scene of the crash. She reported the discovery to Denver police.

Gauvin said she hopes police can identify and catch the driver.

“It would make me feel a little better, just because it was part of my family and my son’s first dog. He woke up this morning and knew she was gone and saw her get hit by a car. [The driver] affected my family. She literally killed one of our family members," Gauvin said.

If you recognize the person driving the SUV, you are asked to call the Denver Police Department.

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