Denver Post reporter Colleen O’Connor hit by car and killed Wednesday

O’Connor started with the Denver Post in 2004 and worked as a food writer, city desk reporter and more.

staff photo

Thursday morning, Denver woke to the news that Denver Post reporter Colleen O’Connor was killed after being hit by a car.

Denver police said the the crash occurred at East First Avenue and South Downing Street around 7:35 p.m. Wednesday. The Denver Post confirmed that O’Connor was killed early Thursday.

Early reports were that O’Connor was either riding her bike or walking her bike in the crosswalk when she was struck, but police said Thursday there was no bike involved in the crash. Denver police are investigating the crash as a possible drunk driving incident, and they have arrested 23-year-old Jesus Carreno, the driver in the crash.

O’Connor started with the Denver Post in 2004 and worked as a food writer, city desk reporter and more. Read more of her work here.

Friends, family and people across the state mourn her death today.

Police said witnesses told them the driver, who was driving east on First Avenue, had the green light, and O’Connor was crossing against the light. The driver didn’t stop immediately but pulled over eight blocks later near Race Street, called 911 to report the crash and waited there.

Denver police Sgt. Mike Farr said Carreno was arrested under investigation of vehicular homicide and intoxicated driving. Police are not treating the crash like a hit and run because Carreno did stop, but the decision on whether to charge him for leaving the scene ultimately will belong to the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

Farr said police officers saw signs that Carreno had been drinking, but the results of blood alcohol tests won’t be known for several weeks. He said police have not figured out yet if Carreno was speeding.