DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police are investigating whether alcohol was a factor in an accident that killed a taxi driver and critically injured three other people.
Police are investigating if the driver of a Buick was drunk when the car crashed into the taxi cab at 17th and Colorado early Monday morning. They are also trying to figure out who exactly was driving the Buick. Police say they have an idea but are still investigating, which is why charges have not yet been filed.
The family of cab driver who died, Junior Soko, is grieving a terrible loss. Soko, 29, came to the United States from Liberia, Africa for a better life. His family says the father of two young girls was a selfless man.
“Everybody leaves Africa looking for greener pastures over here. He came here and was just working and taking care of his family,” said Mentu Snoh, Soko’s brother-in-law. “This young man was planning his life.”
Police believe the driver of the Buick ran a red light and drove right into the path of Soko’s oncoming cab. The Buick landed on its roof. Soko’s coworker, Anten Addis, passed by the accident, noticed the cab’s car number, and knew it was bad for his friend. He says the accident is a wake-up call for all taxi cab drivers.
“It’s a tough job always driving around and taking the risk. And then some people drink and drive,” Addis said.
Police don’t know yet for sure if the Buick’s driver was drinking, but Soko’s family friend, Ebenezer Norman, says he forgives that driver.
“I have found a place in my heart to forgive them because to me forgiveness is key,” Norman said. “I realize there is nothing we can do to bring him back.”
But his family says Soko’s death is a reminder for all drivers.
“Learn not to be reckless on the road. This is somebody’s father, this is somebody’s son, this is somebody’s brother,” Snoh said. “To just, because of your recklessness, end his life and put everybody else in grief and mourning is not appropriate.”
Soko’s family says he was saving up money to move back to Liberia this August. They are now planning his funeral.