DENVER (CBS4) – The family of a Denver hit-and-run victim will testify on Thursday on the state house floor.
Timothy Albo’s family has been trying to change Colorado’s hit and run laws for 16 months. Family members will speak at the state Capitol in support of House Bill 1084.
In October 2010 Albo was walking near Coors Field when he was struck by driver Brandon Mondragon, who drove off but was later caught. Albo was in a coma for several days and barely survived. Mondragon served three months behind bars after pleading guilty in a plea deal.
Under current Colorado law, drivers in hit-and-run cases face less serious offenses than drunk drivers.
“It’s just an incentive to run the way it is now on a hit-and-run accident,” said Timothy’s mother Cynthia.
House Bill 1084 would make hit-and-run offenses a Class 4 felony, which carries the same penalty as drunk driving.
“There should never be an incentive anywhere to leave somebody on the side of the road dying,” Mel Casey, Albo’s sister, told CBS4 on Thursday. “The fact that Colorado law has it that way is just wrong.”
GOOD QUESTION REPORT: Law Easier On Hit & Run Drivers
Rep. Kathleen Conti told CBS4 the bill has bipartisan support but financing could be an issue. CBS4 recently reported that it costs $40,000 to lock up someone for a year in a state prison. Making the law tougher and allowing for as much as 5 years for a hit-and-run with bodily injury and a state estimate indicated it would cost $2.5 million more to house the offenders.
“I think people realize it’s the right thing to do. The concern is the fiscal note and how we’ll be able to pay for it,” Conti said.
Albo’s relative Jenniffer Dilullo told CBS4 Albo’s recovery and their push for tougher laws has been life changing for all of them.
“It will give all of us a sense of relief that we banded together and did this as a family,” Dilullo said, referring to their day at the Capitol on Thursday.
Albo told CBS4 he feels thankful for his family’s support and hopes the law will indeed be changed.
“You were in the hospital longer than (Mondragon) was in jail, how does that make you feel?” CBS4’s Tom Mustin asked Albo.
“Makes we want to change the laws,” he said.
STORY ARCHIVE: Timothy Albo
If the House passes the law it would go to the full Senate. The bill could become law by August.