Person of interest in hit-and-run that critically injured student turns self in
DENVER — The Denver Police Department has confirmed that a person of interest in a hit-and-run that left an East High School student in critical condition has turned herself in to police in Thursday morning, just a day after the crash.
Denver Police spokesperson Sonny Jackson stressed that this woman is a person of interest and not a suspect as of 7:50 a.m. Thursday morning.
“We still need additional witnesses to come forward,” Jackson said. “We need to have probable cause in order to make an arrest, and we do not have that at this time.”
Police issued a Medina Alert for the driver of a gray, four-door Dodge Stratus that hit the female high school student on Colfax Avenue Wednesday morning and then fled the scene.
The 16-year-old was in critical condition late Wednesday afternoon with a head injury. Police say she was walking in the crosswalk at Elizabeth Street with the right of way when she was hit at approximately 7:07 a.m.
Police believe the vehicle was being driven by a woman. Earlier Wednesday, police released a partial license plate, but later retracted that description because it may not have been accurate.
It had not yet been confirmed as of 7:45 a.m. Thursday if the person of interest who police had in custody was male or female, or if that person was indeed the suspect in this case.
The girl injured in the crash was one of two students hit by a vehicle in separate incidents on Colfax Wednesday morning. The other student suffered less serious injuries, and the driver of the vehicle that hit her, Scott Gravatt, remained on scene.
“I couldn’t morally and in good conscious leave the scene,” Gravatt said. “I’m not sure how anyone could. I already felt bad enough about not being able to see her because of a glare on my windshield and hitting her.”
Police determined Gravatt was not at fault for the accident.
East High School posted a letter to parents on the school’s website from Principal Andy Mendelsberg saying “Our thoughts and well-wishes are with this student as she recovers from her injuries.”
Medina Alerts were created in 2012 and are named after 21-year-old valet Jose Medina, who as killed by a hit-and-run driver in January 2011.
A taxi cab driver followed the vehicle that hit Medina and reported it to police, eventually leading to an arrest.