ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – Friends, neighbors and family members are mourning the loss of three people killed by a suspected drunk driver.
Seven cars were involved in the crash just after 6 p.m. Sunday on Ward Road near 61st Avenue.
Family members of Alan (Pete) Peterson, 79, and his wife Judith (Judy) Peterson, 73, said they were in shock and too distraught to talk on camera.
“I just can’t believe it. I’m stunned,” said Marvin Schroder, who lives down the street from the Peterson’s home. He had known them for about forty years before they died in the alleged DUI wreck. “I hate drunken drivers,” Schroder told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia. If you’re going to drink, stay home.”
According to police, the suspect, driving a silver SUV, was heading southbound on Ward Road when he crossed into oncoming traffic, first crashing into a small SUV.
Saddened neighbors said that Pete and Judy were two of the best neighbors they could have asked for.
“(They were) real nice,” Schroder said. “(They were) retired. When they used to come for walks down by the street, they would always stop and say ‘hi.’”
Lorie Hicks, 59, of Arvada passed away after she was ejected from the back of a 3-wheeled motorcycle, according to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office.
Paramedics rushed a fourth victim to the hospital in critical condition, along with the suspected drunk driver.
Investigators believe that alcohol was a factor, and so do witnesses who said they saw the suspect driving erratically before the crash.
“I looked at my friend and I said, dude you need to look behind us and see if you can get this guy’s license plate. We need to call the police,” said Sarah Thompson, a driver from Westminster.
Thompson said that the suspected drunk driver came close to crashing into her vehicle before causing the deadly wreck.
“It breaks my heart that three people were probably going home from work or going home from dinner…that really just breaks my heart because I couldn’t imagine not having my family come home,” said Thompson’s friend, who was in the car with her.
As of Monday afternoon, police had not charged the suspect, who was still in the hospital.
Officers expected to press charges upon completion of their investigation a few days later.