More than 200,000 people might be driving illegally in Colorado, and such drivers were involved in crashes that caused nearly one-fourth of all state traffic deaths last year, reports the Denver Post, citing a state auditor’s report. State legislators requested the audit after Francis Hernandez, an unlicensed driver unlawfully in the United States, was accused of speeding through traffic, hitting another vehicle and killing three people in Aurora in September 2008.
In 2008, the auditors reported, only seven states had a higher percentage of fatal crashes involving drivers who lacked valid licenses. Fourteen percent of all drivers involved in fatal Colorado traffic accidents were “problem drivers” like Hernandez – either unlicensed or driving with a revoked or suspended license. Statewide, 548 people died in traffic crashes last year. The auditors reported that drivers without valid licenses were involved in crashes that killed 130, or 24 percent of all deaths. One reason: As many as three-fourths of drivers whose licenses are suspended or revoked keep driving.