A Douglas County jury today found a man guilty of charges related to the death of an on-duty Colorado State Patrol trooper who he hit while driving a commercial tractor-trailer.
Noe Gamez-Ruiz, 46, of Denver, was found guilty of “careless driving – passing an emergency vehicle – resulting in death” in the 2016 death of Trooper Cody Donahue, who was 34 when he was killed.
The jury’s verdict came after a five-day trial before Douglas County District Court Judge Jeffrey Holmes.
The count is a Class 1 traffic offense punishable by up to a year in jail. The jury also found Gamez-Ruiz guilty of an added minor traffic offense, failure to stay in a lane. Sentencing is set for July 30.
On Nov 25, 2016, Donahue was investigating a crash scene near mile marker 175 on Interstate 25 in Douglas County. Gamez-Ruiz was driving a tractor-trailer that hit Donahue as he was standing on the side of the road.
“This conduct was so egregious, Colorado has since changed its laws to make this a felony. I am satisfied that this jury rendered the just and proper verdict given the evidence in this case,” said Chief Deputy District Attorney George Brauchler, who tried the case with Assistant District Attorney Tom Byrnes. “No outcome of this case can replace what Gamez-Ruiz took from the Donahue family — a husband, father, son, brother, friend and public servant. But it is formal recognition that the responsibility for Cody’s killing lies squarely with Gamez-Ruiz.”
“This was an important case for my office, the Colorado State Patrol and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office,” said District Attorney John Kellner. “The men and women of the CSP come to work every day to keep the rest of us safe on Colorado’s roads. We owe it to them and Trooper Donahue to move over and give them room to do their jobs safely.”