UPDATE: Shocking Turn Of Events In Trial Of Trucker Accused Of Negligent Homicide
UPDATE: 9/14/2018 – A shocking turn of events has transpired in the case of trucker driver Noe Gamez-Ruiz accused of negligently striking and killing Colorado State Patrol Trooper Cody Donahue in November of 2016 along Interstate 25 near Castle Rock, Colorado. As Transportation Nation Network reported earlier this week, opening arguments were heard on Wednesday and witnesses had already begun to be called, but now the judge in the judge in the case has declared the judicial proceeding as a mistrial.
Rob McCallum, a spokesman for the Colorado Judicial Branch, confirmed a mistrial had been declared by Judge Shay Whitaker. The judge made the ruling because the prosecution failed to disclose critical information to the defense, McCallum said. George Brauchler, district attorney for Douglas County, said the mistrial was declared when a pathologist was on the stand, testifying for the prosecution. She stated an opinion that had not been a part of her original report, Brauchler said. Defense attorneys had already raised a concern earlier in the case on another matter that they argued the prosecution did not disclose. Judge Whitaker, alarmed by a developing pattern, ended the trial.
A motions hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m. Oct. 26, and a new trial date has been set for Feb. 12, 2019, said Vikki Migoya, a spokeswoman for the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
This trial has received quite a bit of attention in Colorado. You may recall that after Donahue’s death, the Colorado Legislature created a law that requires motorists to move over when they see a law enforcement officer, highway workers or tow-truck drivers on the road. Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the “Move Over for Cody Act” into law in 2017.
Transportation Nation Network will continue to follow this story as it develops.
Video is shared courtesy of CBS Denver.
(Original Report: September, 13, 2018)
Castle Rock, Colorado – The trial for the truck driver accused of negligently striking and killing Colorado State Patrol Trooper Cody Donahue has begun. Trucker Noe Gamez-Ruiz admits that the semi he was driving northbound on Interstate 25 near Castle Rock in November 2016 did strike and kill Donahue as he was working a traffic accident, but he says it was an accident and nothing more. “It’s a terrible, tragic accident, but it’s that and nothing more,” said Gamez-Ruiz’s defense to the jury. The prosecution argues Gamez-Ruiz should have known better. Gamez-Ruiz has been a professional driver for 20 years and his experience, the prosecution argues, proves his guilt of negligence.
First on the stand to testify was Matt Normandin, the trooper working on investigating the crash with Donahue when Donahue was struck. Normandin said he looked up to see Donahue looking at approaching traffic and then tried to press himself closer to the vehicle he was inspecting. Then, Normandin said he watched Donahue get struck. He became emotional, recalling how he called out “officer down” into his radio.
Next to take the stand was a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputy. He testified he was the first person to interview Gamez-Ruiz after the accident. The body camera played in the courtroom showed Gamez-Ruiz fully cooperating and offering information about the crash. The jury was shown video of the incident that was recorded in Gamez-Ruiz’s truck as well as Donahue’s dash camera.
Gamez-Ruiz was not found to be impaired in any way during the time of the accident and the accident occurred on a bright and sunny day. More facts about this case are expected to come out during the remainder of this trial. We will continue to follow it closely for you and bring you the latest as it happens.
For more on this story visit kdvr.com.