Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Woman charged with vehicular homicide in dragging death

JOHN C. ENSSLIN Updated: March 9, 2011 at 12:00 am

Prosecutors filed 11 charges Wednesday including vehicular homicide against a woman accused in the dragging death of a Colorado Springs tow truck driver.

Detra Dione Farries also is charged with manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident, both felonies.

Farries also faces two misdemeanor reckless endangerment counts and the following traffic offenses: reckless driving, two counts of failing to stop for a stop sign, failing to obey a traffic control device, driving an unsafe or defective vehicle and driving an unregistered vehicle.

The most serious of the felony counts is leaving the scene of an accident, which could bring a maximum of 12 years in prison.

A conviction on the manslaughter or vehicular homicide counts normally results in a maximum of six years in prison. If a judge were to find aggravating circumstances on any felony conviction, the penalties could be doubled.

Farries, 33, is accused of recklessly causing the death of Allen Lew Rose on Feb. 23 when his leg was snagged by a towing cable attached to an illegally parked GMC sport utility vehicle that he was attempting to tow.

Two days after the incident, Colorado Springs police arrested Farries on suspicion of manslaughter. Police said the vehicle Farries was driving dragged Rose for more than a mile.

Rose, the 35-year-old co-owner of J & J Towing, had been attempting to tow the vehicle from the parking lot of the Hill Park Apartments at 360 N. Murray Blvd. when a woman jumped in the vehicle and drove off. Rose was dragged more than a mile along East Platte Avenue.

On March 2, Rose’s widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Farries, alleging that she was negligent and careless in driving off in the vehicle.

She appeared at a brief hearing in a court room packed with Rose's relatives and co-workers. Fourth Judicial District Judge Jann DuBois advised Farries of the charges. DuBois also appointed the Colorado Public Defender's office to represent Farries.

She remains free on a $50,000 bond pending an April 15 preliminary hearing. As a condition of her bond, the judge ordered Farries not to driver a motor vehicle without a valid driver's licence or proof of insurance.

For more court coverage, visit "The Sidebar" blog at gazette.com.

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