THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – A drunk driver who pleaded guilty to injuring four teens in a wrong-way crash in Thornton was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Thursday.
Frederick Veloz Jr., 33, pleaded guilty on 18 charges including vehicular eluding resulting in bodily injury, leaving the scene of an accident involving serious bodily injury, DUI and reckless vehicular assault.
The crash happened on July 26, 2016 when Veloz was eluding police and speeding 70 to 80 mph the wrong way down Washington Avenue near 120th Avenue in Thornton when he slammed into a Chevrolet Impala carrying four teenagers.
Veloz ran away from the crash and was arrested by Thornton police.
“Frederick Veloz was literally every parent’s nightmare,” said Chief District Attorney Brian Mason at the sentencing hearing. “He was high on meth, drunk on alcohol and, behind the wheel of his black truck, a blazing, out-of-control weapon of death.”
Inside the victim’s car were a 17-year-old female driver and three teenage passengers. One teen suffered a broken femur, compound fracture of her arm, broken jaw, shattered elbow, skull fracture and brain hemorrage. Another suffered a traumatic brain injury that he is still struggling to overcome.
“It is a miracle that those teenagers survived,” Mason said. “The defendant is lucky that he is not being sentenced today for quadruple vehicular homicide.”
“What you did was the equivalent of a drive-by shooting with a 3,000 pound bullet,” Adams County District Judge Ted Tow said. “I can’t overstate the devastation you rained on these four families.”