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Colorado Semi-Truck Driver Ran Over Locksmith After Payment Dispute, Killing Him, Police Say
Colorado semi-truck driver Erick Mejia allegedly ran over locksmith Guillermo Duran-Mejia, killing him, then continued making scheduled deliveries on Dec. 28, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department.
A Colorado semi-truck driver was arrested this week for allegedly running over a locksmith over a payment dispute, causing fatal injuries, then fleeing the scene and going on to make a scheduled delivery.
Erick Mejia, 31, was charged with one count of vehicular homicide on Wednesday, according to an Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office press release. His bail was set at $100,000, and he is scheduled to appear in Arapahoe County Court on Jan. 4.
Deputies were dispatched to 1 Digicomm Drive around 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 28, where they found a 55-year-old male victim "laying on the ground beside a white passenger van." Deputies and members of South Metro Fire Rescue attempted CPR and other lifesaving efforts, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene. His van was parked beside a white semi-truck that Mejia was driving, police said.
Family members identified the slain man as Guillermo Duran-Mejia, according to the Denver Gazette.
Surveillance footage allegedly captured Mejia's semi-truck sideswiping Duran-Mejia's vehicle and ultimately hitting the man, leaving him with fatal injuries. Later, police wrote an arrest affidavit obtained by the Gazette, the truck returned to the scene to make a delivery.
"When Mejia started to drive forward and leave the scene, he struck the victim and his van causing fatal injuries," read the press release from the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office. "Mejia then left the scene of the accident, made a delivery to Digicomm and left the area."
Investigators were able to identify the driver of the semi-truck by speaking with staff at the business and obtained Mejia's cell phone number. They called him and told him to wait at his current location.
Instead, ACSO deputies tracked Mejia's semi-truck to nearby I-25, where it was fleeing southbound toward El Paso, Texas. Officers with the Fountain Springs, Colorado Police Department pulled Mejia over around mile marker 125 and detained the suspect. Mejia was taken into custody and handed over to ACSO officers for questioning.
Mejia told police that he had contacted Duran-Mejia for locksmith services and the pair had gotten into a dispute over payment, according to the Gazette. During the argument, Mejia told allegedly police, Duran-Mejia ripped up money and struck Mejia's semi-truck with an "auto theft prevention device."
Mejia told police that he got into his semi at that point. As he was pulling away, he turned toward Duran-Mejia's van — he told police he maneuvered his vehicle that way to avoid hitting a tree. He knew that he'd hit Duran-Mejia's vehicle, but claimed that he did not know he had hit the 55-year-old. He allegedly told police that he looked back, saw the victim on the ground and drove away.
A GoFundMe initiative set up by Duran-Mejia's family has raised nearly $15,000 toward the man's funeral expenses as of Tuesday afternoon.
"My father, a locksmith, received a call from a client to help him with his semi-truck," wrote one of Duran-Mejia's children on the page.
The victim left behind a wife and five daughters, according to the fundraiser.