DENVER (CBS4) – A wrong-way crash claimed the lives of two people shortly before 6 a.m. Sunday morning.
Police were working to figure out why a taxi driver drove the wrong way down Monaco Parkway near Yale Avenue, crashing head-on into another driver.
The impact scattered debris across the street and onto sidewalks. Investigators found the taxi’s bumper more than a mile down the road.
Police described the accident as horrific, saying the cab rolled over the median and burst into flames.
Officers diverted Sunday morning drivers from the intersection of the wicked wreck.
“It’s not the way I wanted to start my Sunday morning,” said Linda Williams, who lives in the area.
Authorities said that the driver of the charred and mangled Metro Taxi cab was driving northbound in the southbound lanes of Monaco when he collided head-on with a silver Hyundai. The taxi flipped over the median and caught on fire, and a witness pulled its driver from the burning vehicle.
The cab driver, identified as Abdurazaq Bilal, 27, and the driver of the car that he hit both died. The other driver’s identity hasn’t been released.
“It’s really sad for an innocent person, and a person who is going the wrong way, to get into an accident like that,” said Conferina Ulibarri, who stopped to look at the wreckage.
Police said that they were considering all possibilities as to what caused the cab driver to go the wrong way.
“Obviously, we’re going to be looking at the possibility of alcohol, the possibility of intoxication, the possibility of drugs, (and) the possibility of speed playing a factor,” said Tyrone Campbell, a spokesperson with the Denver Police Department.
Investigators also took photos of more wreckage a mile and a half from the crash scene. A trail of flattened sign posts, downed mailboxes, tire tracks through yards, and other debris lined Monaco near Mansfield, nearly 20 blocks away.
“You could tell they hit trees, signs, mailboxes, yards. It was crazy over there,” said J.J. Ulibarri, who drove past some of the debris on his way to church.
Witnesses said the crash would make them drive even more carefully on the roads.
“You have to pay attention to what you’re doing. But you also have to know that there are other people who are out on the road, and you have to be watching for them too,” said Williams.
CBS4’s Melissa Garcia reached out to Metro Taxi Sunday morning for comment, but did not immediately hear back.
Statement From Metro Taxi
“We are shocked and deeply saddened at the events and the loss of life,” said Robert McBride, president and owner of Metro Taxi Denver. “We offer our condolences the drivers’ family and friends. This is an indescribable tragedy.”
At this time, little is known about the accident. Metro Taxi staff are cooperating with the authorities to determine its cause.
“At this time, we don’t know what led to the accident. The authorities will have our full cooperation for as long as they need it,” said McBride.