Watch CBS News

Driver allegedly strikes cyclists at Lookout Mountain in Colorado: "He hit the gas and I rolled off"

Driver allegedly strikes cyclists at Lookout Mountain
Driver allegedly strikes cyclists at Lookout Mountain 02:08

Two cyclists were injured -- one seriously -- on Colorado's Lookout Mountain when the driver of a Ford Mustang attempted to pass another one and struck the cyclists -- three in total -- according to Colorado State Patrol and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. The driver of that Mustang then allegedly fled further up the mountain in the car and then on foot.

Investigators say when they found the car, the airbags were deployed, but they didn't know if that was from the collision with the bicyclists or if they crashed while fleeing that scene.

Now police are seeking the driver and a passenger. Investigators say they believe they know who the driver and passenger are and don't believe the car was stolen. The crash happened Saturday around 1:40 p.m. although officials did not provide an exact location.

Police identified the victims as 47-year-old Michael Lee from Arvada, who sustained minor injuries and his friend David, a 44-year-old from Lakewood who sustained serious injuries. Police did not immediately have information on the third cyclist.

As the cyclists entered a sweeping left-hand turn riding 20 to 25 MPH, a blue Mustang was coming into the turn from the other direction.

"I saw a green Mustang come out from behind the blue Mustang and accelerate into the corner. I heard the engine rev as he came around the turn. The blue Mustang saw what was happening and hit the brakes, gave us space," Lee said. "David was hit first. I rolled over the roof of the vehicle and ended up on the trunk. I remember looking at the fin (spoiler) on the trunk and thinking, 'should I grab that?' Then he hit the gas and I rolled off."

Lee said the driver of the blue Mustang checked on the cyclists but when they noticed the driver of the green Mustang take off, they got back in their car to chase them down. The blue Mustang then hit the guardrail and began fishtailing before Lee lost sight of it.

"When you're on mountain roads you have to be mindful of the people around," said Lee. "I'm always paying attention to uphill traffic. There were cars coming up." 

He got up after suffering road rash and bruising but realized his friend David wasn't moving. Officials did not immediately have an update on David's condition.

Lee says a third cyclist behind him, Zach, had to go into the ditch to avoid getting hit.  

Police said there was a man and a woman in the green Mustang, although they didn't say who was driving and who was the passenger. At least one of them was injured but investigators provided no other details about the two suspects, who are expected to face hit-and-run charges.

Lee's injuries include road rash down his back, legs, and forearms. His arm is in a sling after using his shoulder to break the fall. Officials did not immediately have an update on David's condition, but Lee heard he was in bad shape. 

"If that had been an SUV it would've been a different story for sure," said Lee. "The fact that they kept going and put more people in danger. I don't even know how to process that." 

Lookout Mountain sits just outside of Golden's city limits to the southwest and overlooks the city. The road that runs through it is one lane in either direction with no bike lanes.

Earlier this year, Colorado State Patrol said hit-and-run crashes were outpacing those from 2022; a notable departure from other violent crimes, such as murder, assault, sex crimes and robbery, which Colorado Bureau of Investigation data shows has all gone down since last year.

The Colorado State Patrol data, which only covered the first quarter of 2023, showed hit-and-run crashes, however, were on the rise.

January saw a 35% increase, going from 192 hit-and-run crashes in 2022 to 260 in January 2023. February saw a 19% increase going from 201 to 240 and 13% more were reported in March, rising from 203 in 2022 to 229 this year.

"Hit-and-run crashes that result in a fatality or serious bodily injury to another person are devastating to families and erode the feelings of safety for all of us across our communities," Colorado State Patrol Chief Matthew Packard said in a news release in May. "Colorado State Troopers take these crimes seriously and work tirelessly to ensure each case is solved."

Editor's note: Following the publication of this article, David's family requested that CBS Colorado share an update that an online fundraiser was started for him. The GoFundMe page is called "Help David's family as he heals from hit-and-run."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.