Broomfield, CO asked in Criminal Law and Traffic Tickets for Colorado

Q: Is it illegal to block a road? If so, then is it illegal to hit someone blocking the road? Does speed matter?

After seeing the footage of a lady in denver swerving to hit a protester, I wondered what kind of legal trouble that person could get into.

If I am driving on the highway at 65 MPH and someone leaps in front of my car, I would assume I wouldn't be charged with manslaughter. Does the law change if im going 30 mph? 10?

Obviously people who drive through a crowd of protesters should go to jail forever, but what if you drive slowly through a crowd of protesters 2-3 MPH and purposely put their foot under the wheel and breaks their foot. Could they sue you?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nelson Patrick Boyle
Nelson Patrick Boyle
  • Englewood, CO
  • Licensed in Colorado

A: There's a "last clear chance" doctrine that says, basically, if you can avoid a crash or if you can avoid hitting the person, then it's illegal. The video you refer to involved a driver who appeared to purposely hit the person. If it can be proved in court that she did so on purpose, then it's illegal. If you're on the highway and a person jumps in front of your car, how far away are you? If you have sufficient space to avoid hitting the person (by stopping, changing lanes, braking, etc.), then it could be manslaughter to hit them. Obviously, in that or any scenario, hitting the gas pedal to purposely run someone over is illegal. If you're at a stoplight and the light changes and someone's in the crosswalk in front of you, they have the right of way. Not only because they're in the crosswalk, but because they were in the right of way before the light changed. Those are black and white scenarios.

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