Man responsible for fatal rollover crash in Silverthorne avoids prison time
Devin Cody Feltes, 32, who pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide after a rollover crash killed a passenger in his car in April 2017, was sentenced to eight years in a community corrections facility following a hearing at the Summit County Justice Center on Monday morning.
In the early morning of April 4, 2017, Feltes and two friends were traveling from a party in Silverthorne down Royal Buffalo Drive into town to purchase cigarettes. Feltes’ vehicle crashed and rolled onto its side near Lake View Drive, ejecting Feltes and the backseat passenger from the car. Officers with the Silverthorne Police Department and Colorado State Patrol arrived on scene and provided medical care to the injured passengers.
The backseat passenger was pronounced dead on the scene just after 3 a.m. Feltes, still unconscious, and the other passenger were taken to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco for treatment. Officers conducted an on-scene investigation of the crash site, and determined there was no evidence the car was out of control when it left the road, and that the snowy weather wasn’t the cause of the crash, according to the police report.
During an interview at the hospital, the other passenger told police that Feltes was the driver, and that he consumed an unknown amount of alcohol prior to driving that night. He later recanted his statement and said Feltes was the designated driver. A subsequent blood test on Feltes about 90 minutes after the first report of the crash returned a blood alcohol level of .174, more than double the legal limit for a DUI.
According to data retrieved from the car’s event data recorder and airbag control module — which records information in the seconds before a crash — the car was traveling at 59 mph in a posted 30 mph zone five seconds before the crash. Feltes pleaded guilty to a felony charge of vehicular homicide during a disposition hearing in December last year.
Following the crash, Feltes got in trouble again in Lake County for violating his bail bond conditions after police discovered he had consumed alcohol. Both incidents were addressed during his sentencing hearing on Monday.
Deputy district attorney Lisa Hunt called for a mid-range sentence in a community corrections facility rather than a prison sentence, citing Feltes’ lack of criminal history and the desires of the victim’s family. Though Hunt did express “ongoing concerns” that Feltes still hadn’t accepted responsibility for the incident.
Feltes’ attorney Stacey Shobe said that he did take responsibility for the incident, citing the guilty plea in December, but noted that Feltes was still struggling to understand what exactly happened that night due to an almost complete loss of memory of the incident, along with some unanswered questions as to how he was found 20 feet from the vehicle or why it took so long for law enforcement to discover him when there was a relatively uninjured passenger on scene.
“All of those details made it difficult for Mr. Feltes to get to the point where we are today,” said Shobe.
Finally Feltes spoke for himself, offering a highly emotional statement noting his close friendship with the victim and an apology to his family, who weren’t present for the sentencing.
“It was one time in my career and my life that I’ve spent saving lives, that I couldn’t this time around,” said Feltes, an EMT. “I’ll have to live with that. It’s not that I’m not taking responsibility, but there are so many unanswered questions that I want answered.
“Nobody has been able to answer those for me. I’ve gotten to this point because I was fighting for two things: the truth and my career. That’s what (my friend) would have wanted. The state has given me that opportunity. I can let (him) rest. I can let his family rest. All I can do is just dedicate whatever future I have to making it better for everyone involved. I really am sorry, and I want to tell his family I’m sorry. There’s not a day that’s gone by that I’ve not thought about him and his family.”
Judge Karen Romeo sentenced Feltes to eight years in a community corrections facility. She also sentenced Feltes to 90 days in jail, 45 of which is suspended assuming he reports to the jail on time on Tuesday, for the violation of his bail conditions. Feltes was granted credit for 10 days served and his sentences will run consecutively.
“I hope you find peace with it,” said Romeo. “And I hope it keeps you clean and sober for the rest of your life. I hope you can continue in your profession and give back to the community.”
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