A woman was struck and killed on Interstate 25 early New Year’s Day after a rideshare driver left her on the side of the highway, according to Thornton police.
The woman, who has not been publicly identified, was struck and killed at about 12:33 a.m. Sunday in the northbound lanes of I-25 in Thornton, between 144th Avenue and Colorado 7, according to Thornton police.
Investigators believe the rideshare driver left the woman on the side of the highway after she “became ill” in the vehicle. Thornton police Officer Jesus Mendez said he believes the woman vomited or became nauseous, but he wasn’t sure whether she vomited inside the vehicle or whether the driver pulled over to let her out to vomit. He could not say whether the woman was intoxicated.
Mendez also was not sure whether the driver kicked the woman out or whether she ended the rideshare voluntarily.
“She paid; the ride was terminated,” he said. “Who terminated it and what happened there, I do not know.”
After she was left on the shoulder, the woman walked into the interstate, Mendez said. She was struck by two vehicles. The first driver “sideswiped” her and did not stop, Mendez said. A second vehicle then hit the woman, who died. She was in her early 20s, Mendez said.
The second driver stayed at the scene. Police are searching for the driver who did not stop. Mendez said Monday that officers were “close” to talking to that driver. No arrests had been made by early Monday afternoon.
Mendez did not know which rideshare service the woman was using. He said investigators have spoken to the rideshare driver and do not expect to file criminal charges against that person.
“I do know that is not the cause of the accident,” he said. “It’s not that a vehicle ran off the side of the road and struck them. This person walked out into the roadway and was struck.”