DENVER (CBS4)– Jose Ocampo was five years away from retirement when he was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver last Tuesday at 29th and Arkins Court in Denver. Ocampo, 56, was one of two workers struck.
The second man suffered serious injuries including a broken leg, a shattered shoulder blade and broken ribs. The driver fled the scene.
“Going to the hearing was the hardest part. We got the call that morning that they caught her trying to run away… she had luggage ready to leave,” said Ricardo Ocampo, Jose’s youngest son.
Ricardo says he is angry, and finding it hard to forgive the suspect, Kathleen Sugaski.
“She had the chance to stop check on my dad, check on all the other workers- cause it’s not just my father. A lot of other workers were traumatized,” he said.
Ricardo says he would like to reach out to the other man working alongside his father that day. He’s unsure if he’s been released from the hospital but was told by police about his injuries.
He hopes what happened is a reminder to others to think about the consequences of their actions.
“You know, make smarter choices, I understand going out having fun…” he continued, “you hurt yourself, you hurt your parents, you can hurt someone else, you can hurt their families, and so on.”
Jose was building a second home in Mexico where he and his wife could spend time.
“He would go every year. Every year to finish putting a little bit more effort into the house… you know things that he liked.”
It’s one of many things Ricardo says he worked hard to build. It was in his nature. Ricardo is still trying to wrap his head around the fact that his life ended so abruptly at the hands of an alleged drunk driver.
“The last time I saw my dad I got to hug him. I wish I told I’m I loved him. It was more like, ‘I appreciate you, thank you. I’ll see you tomorrow,’ because you never think you’re going to lose someone tomorrow.”
Ocampo worked for the Mears Group, which has set up a GoFundMe to help the Ocampo family with funeral expenses.
A visitation for Jose will be Tuesday. The family said they expect an enormous showing of support.
Sugaski, the suspect, posted a $25,000 bond recently according to court records and is due in court for her second advisement on Sept. 27.