The fourth person killed in traffic in 2020 while walking around Denver was crossing Colorado Boulevard

Crash investigators haven’t finished their investigation but know enough to say the pedestrian was in the wrong and the driver wasn’t drunk or speeding.

Evans Avenue and Colorado Boulevard, Jan. 25, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Evans Avenue and Colorado Boulevard, Jan. 25, 2020. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photos

The Denver Police Department has not yet identified a man killed Saturday night by a driver in a Lexus sedan on Colorado Boulevard.

The victim was walking against the light in the north crosswalk on Colorado and 9th Avenue when the driver struck him, said Christine Downs, a DPD spokesperson. He died at the scene.

DPD released few details, citing an ongoing investigation. Yet investigators concluded the driver was likely not drunk or speeding on the 35 mph street, Downs said. DPD has taken witness statements.

The crash occurred after dark, but street lights hang over the intersection. The driver had a green light. Officers rarely pursue distracted driving as a cause unless they have probable cause.

Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure has called out Colorado as part of the “high injury network,” a group of the city’s deadliest streets that officials are targeting with efforts to end traffic deaths.

Denver’s fourth pedestrian death of the year is unsurprising, said Jill Locantore, executive director of the Denver Streets Partnership (formerly WalkDenver) — not because the man was crossing against the light, but because the 9th and Colorado intersection has an outdated design in a densifying part of the city.

Locantore pointed out that Colorado Boulevard doubles as a seven-lane state highway in an area of the city where more homes and businesses mean more people. Crossing so many lanes takes a long time, and the speed limit is too high for the number of people walking around the area, she said, adding that Saturday night is a hostile time to be a pedestrian.

“You have the perfect stew of factors that we know increase the likelihood of serious crashes involving pedestrians,” Locantore said. “So of course it’s not surprising that early on in the year we already have a fatality at that location.”

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