Driver in fatal hit-and-run in Avon accepts plea offer
Tyler Walker accepts a deal to plead guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, a class 3 felony
An Avon man who struck a pedestrian with his car in December of last year accepted a deal Wednesday, pleading guilty to leaving the scene of an accident involving death, a class 3 felony.
Tyler Walker was set for a jury trial beginning at the end of the month but decided to accept a plea offer extended by the 5th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in a disposition hearing Wednesday morning in Eagle County District Court.
The District Attorney’s Office’s offer recommended that Walker be sentenced within the charge’s “presumptive range” — the typical range barring any aggravating or mitigating factors — of 4 to 12 years in the Colorado State Department of Corrections.
Walker was initially charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury, a Class 4 felony, after he struck Andrew Dolan, 46, with his car on the evening of Dec. 5.
When Dolan died of his injuries on Dec. 27, more than three weeks later, the charge was upgraded to the class 3 felony, according to charging documents for the case.
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Walker did leave the scene that cold December night, but he told Colorado State Patrol troopers that he thought it was a rock that hit his car, and that he had called 911 to report the accident soon after it happened, according to testimony given by the troopers in a July 1 hearing.
He said he returned to the scene as soon as he could get a ride back after dropping his car off at his home down the road, according to the troopers’ testimony.
Walker had been traveling westbound on Highway 6 when the front right of his vehicle struck the right side of Dolan, who was crossing the highway from south to north from the Highway 6 East/Stone Creek Drive bus stop, according to an affidavit detailing the incident.
Walker returned to the scene at least 22 minutes after he hit Dolan but potentially longer, the troopers said.
When he returned, both troopers described him as “cooperative” and “very talkative.” Still, he was later arrested on hit-and-run charges based on the amount of time he was gone before returning to the scene.
In his court appearance Wednesday, Walker officially accepted the offer and entered his guilty plea, and Judge Paul R. Dunkelman set a sentencing hearing for Oct. 20 at 10:30 a.m.
Walker has two previous felonies for which he received deferred judgment, meaning he entered a guilty plea on the condition that the charges would be dismissed if he met the requirements of the deal for the amount of time specified.
Pleading guilty to a new felony charge revokes the deferred judgment arrangement on his two 2017 charges — felony criminal mischief and felony trespassing — so Walker will now be sentenced for all three felony crimes when he comes before Judge Dunkelman in October, Dunkelman said.
Email Kelli Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org