By Andrea Flores
CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – The commercial truck driver accused of hitting and killing a Colorado State trooper appeared in a Douglas County courtroom Friday.
Velma Donahue relives the pain of losing her husband, Colorado State Patrol Trooper Cody Donahue, months after he was killed while on duty, investigating a crash along I-25.
“He was wonderful. He was amazing,” Donahue’s wife said. “He was a friend, and a father, and a husband.”
Donahue was hit by a semi-trailer and died in November.
Noe Gamez-Ruiz is the driver accused of killing the trooper.
Friday morning, Gamez-Ruiz pleaded not guilty to criminally negligent homicide, careless driving resulting in death, and failure to yield right-of-way to an emergency vehicle.
“It’s hard to hear him plead not guilty to something that I’m certain he’s guilty of, it hurts,” Donahue’s wife said. “It’s disappointing that he doesn’t do the right thing.”
Donahue’s wife says she takes comfort in knowing that a new move-over law signed by Governor John Hickenlooper will protect other emergency responders.
It states drivers who hit an emergency worker can be now charged with a class 1 misdemeanor. The charges go up to a class 6 felony if the victim dies.
“It’s really important that it changed. We need this out there, and we are happy that it’s there to protect others,” she said.
Donahue’s wife hopes her husband is remembered for his contributions to his community.
“I just want people to remember his smile and that he always wanted to help others, and that he didn’t deserve this,” she said.
Gamez-Ruiz is due back in court September 1.