LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — A Lakewood woman said she couldn’t believe her eyes after pulling up behind a white Ford pickup truck Saturday afternoon near Sheridan and Alameda.
The license plate was dirty but seemed to match the description of a truck she had just seen on a highway message board.
“I was shocked,” she said. “He pulled over into the pawn store and I took the next left just so I could keep an eye on the truck. I drove past it again to confirm the license plate number, and I called 911.”
That woman doesn’t want to be identified but spoke with FOX31’s Evan Kruegel Tuesday.
She watched as Lakewood and Denver police officers surrounded the car, arresting the driver as he exited the store.
“I noticed they checked out the front-end damage, and then they just waited for him to come out,” she said. “Nobody jumped out with guns blazing or anything, the officer that walked out was very calm.”
New documents said that the suspect, 42-year-old Francisco Duenas-Colmenares, may have been preparing to flee to Mexico following the crash.
Arrest records said witnesses, “stated that Duenas-Colmenares had made statements to them that he might have hit and killed someone and was preparing to head to Mexico.”
That never happened in part thanks to Colorado’s Medina Alert Program, named after 21-year-old Jose Medina who was hit and killed in 2011. A taxi driver saw that crash and was able to provide a license plate number to police, ultimately leading to an arrest.
“The onus is on us to help and care for one another,” said the woman who called 911.
She said it’s a powerful example of a community coming together to help.
“It was one of us who kept an eagle eye out to try and find them,” she said. “It takes all of us to take care of one another.”
Duenas-Colmenares is facing charges of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.
Family members have identified the victim in that crash as Starr Martinez.