Getting into a car accident inevitably causes stress. For drivers who know they were at fault in the accident, that stress level is certain to be higher. And when illegal activity is a contributing factor, it can be all too tempting to avoid the consequences by driving or running away after the crash. But as one Colorado man is learning, fleeing the scene of an accident only makes things worse.

The 24-year-old Longmont man already had an outstanding felony warrant out for his arrest when the accident happened on Monday morning of last week. He and another man were traveling north on U.S. Highway 287 when he attempted to turn left. But there was oncoming traffic, and the man’s Honda Accord was struck by an SUV, badly injuring his front-seat passenger.

But instead of checking on the man traveling with him, according to the Colorado State Patrol, the man attempted to leave the scene of the accident. He was caught by deputies fairly quickly, however, and arrested on several pending charges, including driving under the influence, hit-and-run, vehicular assault and driving with a suspended license. He was also arrested on the outstanding felony menacing warrant.

Meanwhile, his passenger was airlifted to a hospital and listed in critical condition. The relationship between the two men isn’t clear, but the driver may have a difficult time gaining any sympathy or leniency from the court if prosecutors can prove that he left the injured man alone to fend for himself.

As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, drinking and driving by itself doesn’t constitute a felony in Colorado. But by attempting to avoid punishment for the original menacing felony and driver’s license suspension, the defendant in this case may have made his legal predicament much worse. Rather than evading arrest, the best thing to do after an incident that could result in serious charges is to consult an attorney who may be able to reduce those charges for you.

Source: Longmont Times-Call, “Longmont man suspected of DUI in Monday morning wreck on U.S. 287,” Pierrette J. Shields, April 24, 2013