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Fatal July 4th Fatal Crash Case Could Be Headed To Supreme Court

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Police investigate a deadly crash on Highway 34 after a fireworks show. (credit: CBS)

Police investigate a deadly crash on Highway 34 after a fireworks show. (credit: CBS)

GRAND LAKE, Colo. (CBS4) – The case of a deadly crash along Grand Lake on the Fourth of July may now be headed to the Colorado Supreme Court.

In the case, alleged drunk driver Lucas Ackerman hit and killed Greg Westley, a father of eight from Estes Park. However, the Colorado State Patrol investigation said even a sober driver would have killed that man walking.

The victim’s widow, prosecution team and the defense were all in agreement that Ackerman would have a deferred judgment on the felony counts of vehicular assault and vehicular homicide, but likely to go to jail for the DUI.

The judge in the case, however, didn’t agree and said the lenient sentence wasn’t appropriate for a case with a loss of life despite the fact that Ackerman likely wasn’t at fault for Westley’s death.

The deputy district attorney said he’s going to try and take the case to the state Supreme Court to have the plea deal approved.

The district attorney’s office said that it will be a few more weeks before they try to make their case, saying since all parties involved agreed on the terms of the plea deal, it’s an overreach by the judge to deny it.

There are two major issues that the district attorney’s office will be facing. First, the law says that because Ackerman was behind the wheel, the crimes he’s charged with are felonies, but the state report shows he’s not at fault. That leads prosecutors into a tough position where they don’t believe a potential trial would yield any kind of conviction.

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