CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – The man convicted of hitting and killing a 69-year-old motorcyclist was sentenced on Tuesday. A judge in Castle Rock sentenced Ronald Hargrove, 49, to nine years in prison for the death of Suzanne Weston.
Weston was riding single file with her husband and friends down Highway 85 near Sedalia in 2017. She and the others were in the left turn lane waiting at a red light. Hargrove, traveling in the same direction but in the far right lane, swerved across into the turn lane and hit Weston.
Hargrove ended up driving across a ditch and onto the frontage road on the other side of the road.
Witnesses say Hargrove got out of his truck, looked at Weston, and then drove away. They got a look at his license plate and called police.
The courtroom was packed with support for the Weston’s family. Her husband, Steven, and step-daughter, Lorena Corzatt, were both in the courtroom when Hargrove offered an apology.
“I was glad to hear his apology. I do think it was sincere. I do hope that it haunts him for the rest of his life. That’s the best I can hope for,” said Corzatt.
Corzatt and her father were flanked by support leaving court Tuesday. Steven attempted to speak to CBS4, but was overcome with emotion. Both he and his daughter feel like the sentence was not severe enough.
“I don’t think it’s sufficient. I understand that the laws have our hands tied to some extent and that the laws in this country do not take drunk driving seriously,” Corzatt continued. “In other countries, a suspended license means you don’t ever drive. I don’t think Hargrove should ever drive again. It’s a deadly weapon.”
Corzatt says her mother was passionate about motorcycles while always staying safe. She wouldn’t go to the end of the driveway without a helmet which is another aspect of her death that is hard to accept.
“She was fearless, she was amazing. She was every bit as adventuresome and organized and she was all of the things that people said about her.”
It’s a loss her family says left a gaping hole in the lives she touched.
“It’s a hole that will never be filled and she will always be missed and we will always wonder what adventures she didn’t embark on,” said Corzatt.
The judge says Hargrove was driving with a revoked license and had not slept. He also pointed to Hargrove’s two previous DUI convictions, and the fact he “violated out” of the substance abuse programs.
Hargrove had low levels of alcohol, THC and prescription medications in his system, officials say.