Safety

Have You Heard? Stories of Cannabis and Driving.

Listen to the genuine voices and experiences of real Coloradans. CDOT and MADD want you to know that driving high isn't worth the risk. You can be part of the solution.


Stories 

Howard and Polli Small

EthanSmall.jpg

Howard and Polli Small’s son, Ethan, was a 28-year-old go-getter finding his way in the world. He had recently launched his own social media consulting business and drove for a rideshare company on the side.

January 19, 2019, Ethan picked up a rider from the Women’s March in downtown Denver. He dropped off his passenger at the Colfax at Auraria RTD station. On his way out of the station, the traffic light turned green, he entered the intersection, and was broadsided by another driver running a red light going 90 miles per hour. Ethan didn’t survive. The driver of the other car was impaired on alcohol, marijuana and benzodiazepines.

Click to hear Ethan Small's story.

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Nick Hazlett

Colorado State Patrol Trooper Nick Hazlett is a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), a DRE instructor and course manager for the state of Colorado. He’s responded to numerous impaired driving situations across the course of his career.

Hazlett remembers one vehicle was coming up behind him at roughly 90 mph. He stopped the driver and observed his behavior. The driver had eyelid tremors – a clear indication of impairment. The driver insisted repeatedly that he wasn’t high, yet did admit he only had an edible.

“To the public, to those who choose to consume, be honest with yourself. You know when you shouldn’t be driving. Don’t drive if you feel anything less than sober,” said Trooper Hazlett. “We would much rather receive a call that you need a ride and facilitate that ride for you than stand in your living room and tell your family you’re not coming home.”

Click to hear Trooper Hazlett's story.

Ed and Denise Hill

The Hill Family

Ed and Denise Hill’s daughter, Amanda, was a 24-year-old vet-tech with a bubbly personality and a passion for animals. She had an internship at the Denver Zoo — her dream job – and a desire to start her own business boarding exotic pets.

June 5, 2018, Amanda was on her way to work when the driver of the other vehicle swerved over the double yellow line, side-swiped the vehicle in front of Amanda and hit her head-on. She was air lifted to the hospital with multiple traumatic injuries and was placed in an induced coma. After three days, Ed and Denise had to make the decision to take her off of life support. The driver of the other car still had over the legal limit of Delta-9 THC in his system when tested four hours after the crash.

Click to hear Amanda Hill's story. 

Weld County Deputy District Attorney Yvette Guthrie

Yvette Guthrie is a Deputy District Attorney in Weld County, with 19 years of experience and 221 jury trials altogether. 

Click to hear Yvette Guthrie's story. 

Michelle McClenathan

Michelle McClenathan’s son, Mason, was a curious and compassionate 16-year-old who always went out of his way for others. He was adored by his local community in Montrose and never backed down from standing up to a bully.

November 2, 2018, Mason and his friend were driving around town and stopped to smoke marijuana. Mason was the passenger and his friend was driving the vehicle. They left to go back to school and the friend didn’t brake for a curve in the road, rolled the car, and Mason was thrown from the vehicle. Mason was declared dead shortly after. The driver walked away from the crash with minor bumps and bruises, and was charged with two felonies. 

Click to hear Mason McClenathan's story. 


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