Semi-driver runs down man after dispute

This week, a 31-year-old semi-truck driver in Colorado was arrested for allegedly running over a locksmith following a dispute over payment, then continuing to make a scheduled delivery. Authorities announced on Wednesday that Erick Mejia had been arrested and charged with one count of felony vehicular homicide.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office reported that at approximately 11:30 a.m. on December 28, investigators responded to a 911 call requesting a welfare check at 1 Digicomm Drive. When authorities arrived at the scene, they discovered a 55-year-old male victim “laying on the ground beside a white passenger van.”

“Deputies began CPR until South Metro Fire Rescue arrived and took over life-saving efforts, but the victim was pronounced dead at the scene,” according to the release.

The victim’s van was found parked next to Mejia’s white semi-truck, according to investigators.

“When Mejia started to drive forward and leave the scene, he struck the victim and his van causing fatal injuries,” the police reported. “Mejia then left the scene of the accident, made a delivery to Digicomm, and left the area.”

While Mejia’s semi-truck was traveling southbound on I-25 toward El Paso, Texas, ACSO deputies were able to locate it. A Fountain Springs, Colorado police officer stopped Mejia’s vehicle near Mile Marker 125 and detained him. The suspect was taken into custody and transported to the police department for questioning.

The ACSO deputies arrived at the police station and arrested Mejia. He was processed and booked into the Arapahoe County Detention Facility in lieu of a $100,000 bond.

The Denver Gazette reported that family members identified the deceased as Guillermo Duran-Mejia. Duran-Mejia worked for a local locksmith company where the victim’s van was registered.

An affidavit of probable cause obtained by the newspaper stated that investigators obtained surveillance footage of the incident. In the footage, the semi-truck driven by Mejia is reportedly seen “sideswiping Duran-Mejia’s vehicle and ultimately hitting him.” The same semi-truck appears on surveillance footage shortly after making a delivery at a business located at Digicomm Drive.

Additionally, the Gazette report described how employees at the business positively identified Mejia as the delivery driver, allowing investigators to track and locate both the vehicle and Mejia. Investigators contacted Mejia and instructed him to remain in his present location until law enforcement arrived. Mejia, however, drove south until he was stopped by police just outside of Colorado Springs.

Mejia stated to sheriff’s detectives that he called Duran-Mejia to perform locksmith services on his vehicle. The two men reportedly fought over the payment after Duran-Mejia completed the requested service. He claimed that the victim “ripped up” money and struck his semi-truck with some type of “auto theft prevention device” during the altercation.

After the dispute, Mejia reported to detectives that he got back into his vehicle and began driving away. Mejia reportedly said that he “turned towards” the victim’s van when he was driving toward the delivery site so that he would “avoid hitting a tree.”

The Gazette reports that Mejia was aware that the semi-truck had struck Duran-Mejia’s van but was unaware that it had struck the victim until he saw Duran-Mejia lying on the ground.

Currently, Mejia is scheduled to appear in Arapahoe County Court on January 4.

Duran-Mejia’s children set up a GoFundMe account to raise funds for his funeral service, which raised more than $10,000 by Saturday morning.

“My father, a locksmith, received a call from a client to help him with his semi-truck,” wrote the children on the page. “My father told him the price before and proceeded to continue once Eric agreed. After my father finished, [Mejia] did not want to pay my father. There was an argument and [Mejia] said he will be right back. Eric got onto his semi-truck and ran my father over.”

In addition, his children described him as “the best father in the world,” saying that he “always supported his wife and five daughters.”