UCCS student killed in hit-and-run on Austin Bluffs Parkway

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — An 18-year-old UCCS student was killed and two other pedestrians injured in a hit-and-run early Sunday in Colorado Springs.

Police say around 12:30 a.m., three pedestrians were crossing the eastbound lanes of Austin Bluffs Parkway at Stanton Road, near a main entrance to UCCS, when a truck traveling eastbound on Austin Bluffs hit two of the pedestrians. The truck then fled the scene eastbound on Austin Bluffs, according to authorities.

The pedestrian who died at the scene has been identified as 18-year-old Zachary S. Schlagel of Windsor, Colorado. Officials say Schlagel, a freshman at UCCS, died as a result of multiple blunt force injuries suffered during the crash. Another pedestrian suffered minor injuries, and one other pedestrian was not injured.

Police said on Tuesday the suspect, identified as 27-year-old Vincent Fernando Garcia of Colorado Springs, turned himself in. He has been booked into the Criminal Justice Center on charges including Vehicular Homicide, Accidents Involving Death or Personal Injuries, Duty To Report Accidents, and Reckless Driving. The suspect vehicle, a light-colored full-size truck, was located and is in police custody.

Vincent Fernando Garcia / Colorado Springs Police Department

Schlagel is the 31st traffic-related fatality in Colorado Springs in 2017. At this time last year, there were 28 traffic-related fatalities.

Additionally, this is the eighth pedestrian fatality this year. There were seven fatalities in 2016, according to police.

Anyone with information is asked to call CSPD at 719-444-7000. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 719-634-7867.

UCCS Chancellor Venkat Reddy has issued a statement in response to the incident, expressing his condolences to the Schlagel family.

“Please join me in expressing our sincerest condolences to Zach’s family, friends and classmates.University officials are working closely to support Zach’s family, his roommates and others. Counseling services are available to anyone who wishes them by calling 255-4444.
Additionally, the campus is working with the Colorado Springs Police Department in its investigation of this hit-and-run.
We are committed to the safety of our students. Please know that UCCS works closely with the City of Colorado Springs. We will request the City’s Traffic Engineering Division to review the safe and efficient movement of vehicles and pedestrians on Austin Bluffs Parkway.”




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