Hit And Run Suspect Apprehended
On Thursday, March 9, 2017, at approximately 4:20 PM, deputies from the Teller County Sheriff’s Office responded to multiple 911 calls regarding a hit and run vehicle/pedestrian traffic accident on County Road 5 in Divide. Upon arrival, deputies learned that the suspect vehicle, described by witnesses as a silver in color SUV, had fled the scene travelling eastbound on Highway 24 towards Woodland Park. A regional broadcast was immediately sent out to surrounding law enforcement agencies. Teller County Sheriff’s deputies located the vehicle on the side of the road near milepost 281 on Highway 24, approximately 2 miles east of Divide. The vehicle had suffered extensive damage, including a flat front tire. The driver, identified as LORI SMITH, age 44, of Tustin, California, was found to be intoxicated and was taken into custody.
The victim, identified as TIMOTHY BYRNE, age 45, of Tustin, California, was found in the parking lot adjacent to Russ’ Place, 52 County Road 5 in Divide. BYRNE had suffered serious injuries and was flown to a hospital in Colorado Springs, where he remains in critical, but stable condition.
An investigation conducted by Sheriff’s Office detectives determined that BYRNE and his girlfriend SMITH had been involved in a verbal argument outside Russ’ Place. BYRNE was standing outside of their vehicle when SMITH reversed the vehicle, dragging the victim with her over a ten foot retaining wall to the lower parking lot. SMITH then placed the vehicle in drive, running over the victim again, and fled the scene.
SMITH was booked into the Teller County Jail on the following charges:
Vehicular assault, a class 4 felony
Accidents involving death or personal injuries (leaving the scene), a class 4 felony
Drove vehicle under the influence of alcohol
Drove vehicle with blood alcohol content of .08 or more
Drove motor vehicle while license under restraint (revoked)
SMITH remains in the Teller County Jail on $10,000.00 bond. She is scheduled for advisement this afternoon. (booking photo attached)
For further information, please contact:
Commander Mark Morlock
ERT / Operations / Professional Standards
Teller County Sheriff’s Office