DENVER (CBS4) – Two families have united after hit-and-run accidents changed their lives.
Jenna Breen was struck and killed last month in Westminster and Timothy Albo was injured last October. On Saturday their mothers met outside an Adams County courthouse. Both families want the laws to change and justice to be served.
Breen’s family walked quietly out of court Friday. They successfully argued why the suspect, Viet Nguyen, charged with killing their daughter in a DUI and hit-and-run crash, should not have his bond lowered.
“He’s a flight risk. He left my daughter dying and ran and he has a record of running. I think the judge made the right decision,” Breen’s mother Gail Parrish said.
Nguyen has been in jail on a $250,000 bond ever since his car crashed into Breen’s last month. Surveillance video captured the suspects running from the scene. His family members had nothing to say as they left the courtroom.
Also in the courtroom Friday was Albo’s mother, Cynthia.
“We mostly want to be here to support them and let them know we know what they’re going through,” Cynthia Albo said.
In October of 2010 Albo and another passenger were hit by a car. The driver fled and later pleaded guilty.
“We were very unfortunate with my son. We didn’t get a very stiff sentence,” Cynthia Albo said.
The two mother’s embraced outside the courtroom. Cynthia Albo plans to testify before lawmakers this Thursday asking for stiffer penalties for convicted hit-and-run drivers. She hopes Breen’s mother will join her.
“Right now it’s kind of like an incentive for them to run from the scene of an accident because the penalty is not as serious as drunk driving,” Cynthia Albo said.
Cynthia’s son survived the hit-and-run crash but Breen did not. Her mother carries around her ashes in a heart-shaped container waiting for justice to be served.
Right now drivers involved in hit-and-run crashes where the victim dies face up to 12 years in jail. If the victim lives the drivers face a 3-year maximum sentence.
The new bill at the Capitol would increase jail time in crashes where there’s a serious injury by up to 6 more years.