Trooper Recalls Responding to 45 Fatal Accidents

By: Kieran Wilson Email
By: Kieran Wilson Email

Firefighters and police officers are called first when a car crash happens, and when someone is killed in these types of accidents we often think of the horror for the family and friends of the victim; but what about those first on the scene? 11-News has one of their stories.

Trooper Dan Moseman has been with the Colorado State Patrol for 17 years and he's personally handled 50 fatal accidents, "probably about 70 percent of the fatalities I’ve been involved with, involved someone under the age of 21 and several even under the age of 18."

He says many of those lives claimed by accidents happened because of someone else's bad judgment, "the number one thing that kills young people is automobiles and about 50 percent of those are due to alcohol and drugs."

In the past month four people in Mesa County have died in alcohol–related crashes, all were under the age of 25 and one of the most recent victims was an infant. Trooper Moseman says the solution is simple, don't drink and drive.

And while some may think that getting caught driving drunk is punishment enough; Moseman says it's nothing compared to killing yourself or someone else, "as hard as a DUI conviction is, going to jail and all those horrible things that happen with it. I'd much rather put someone through that than to knock on their family's door and tell them their loved one is not coming home."

Moseman says of all the terrible things he's seen throughout his years in law enforcement, one story sticks out in his mind. A 17 year old boy had been drinking and driving, He crashed and the passenger in the car, a 14–year–old girl died. The 17–year–old straight "A" student was charged with vehicular homicide, essentially ruining his future but Trooper Moseman says the lives ruined go far beyond the driver and his victim; "not only was the life of the 14–year–old gone but the life of her family was ultimately destroyed, her parents got divorced and the sister couldn't handle it and she became a drug addict, and we see this time and time again."

Trooper Moseman hopes he never has to see another fatal accident, but knows he probably will. He just asks that if you have been drinking and you get behind the wheel, stop and think about all the lives you could ruin by making a bad decision.

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