Police: Hit & Run Suspect Had Nearly 4 Times Legal Blood Alcohol Limit
LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4)– Investigators said a suspected drunk driver arrested in a hit and run accident had a blood alcohol limit nearly four times over the legal limit.
A pregnant woman, Heather Surovik, lost her unborn child and was listed in critical condition Friday night. The baby was named Brady.
“It was a 27 year old pregnant mother, in her 3rd trimester. She lost her child,” said Longmont Police Commander Jeff Satur.
Police arrested Gary Sheats after he allegedly ran a red light Thursday afternoon at 17th Avenue and Pace Street in Longmont. Surovik’s vehicle, a white Pontiac Grand Prix, struck a third car, a black Honda Pilot. That vehicle was driven by Martha Rudd, 68, of Longmont.
Sheats had a blood alcohol level of .29. The legal limit is .08 in Colorado.
Experts who calculate blood alcohol levels said there are a lot of factors in determining how much alcohol affects a person such as body weight and tolerance. They believe Sheats would have had to have consumed at least 10 beers before getting behind the wheel to have a .29 BAC.
Detectives said Sheats drove away from the scene but a witness to the crash followed him and police arrested him a short time later.
“We had a witness that was very helpful and they essentially followed him to his house and kept in contact with dispatch until they came to the house,” said Satur.
Sheats drove to his parents home where he was arrested. He has a history of driving drunk and has been convicted of DUI four times.
Sheats’ father, Billy, said his son has cancer, Stage 4 Lymphoma, and only has a short time to live.
Sheats was staying with his parents as his mobile home was being repaired. His father said Sheats was traveling the country in the mobile home. Billy said he didn’t know that his son had four previous DUIs.
“Anytime people drive drunk they run that risk but you see those cases where people push their luck and it results in tragic circumstances,” said Satur.
Sheats’ ex-wife said the reason they got divorced was because alcoholism had overtaken his life.
Surovik, 27, was driving the car with her mother, Terry Koester, 48, and her 5-year-old son when they were struck. All of them were injured in the crash.
Saturday afternoon, Longmont Traffic Investigators determined Sheats was traveling west bound on 17th Ave and turned left onto Pace St, in front of approaching traffic, colliding with the victim vehicle which was east bound on 17th Ave.
Early reports put his direction as south bound on Pace St.
Accident reconstruction teams spent Friday afternoon taking pictures of the intersection where the crash happened. Photographs and skid marks helped investigators build their case.