Drunken Aurora driver who escalated road-rage encounter before fatal crash gets prison time


AURORA | An Aurora plumber who was drunk when he caused a three-car crash that killed a teenager and injured several other people in eastern Arapahoe County two years ago has been sentenced to half a dozen years in prison.

Pictured: Hector Frias-Chavarria. Photo provided by the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors in the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Hector Frias-Chavarria, 24, was sentenced to six years in prison last week for vehicular homicide and vehicular assault charges related to DUI for the Sept. 8, 2019 crash.

Authorities said Frias-Chavarria, who was driving a white Dodge pickup, got into a minor collision with the driver of a gray Dodge pickup in unincorporated Arapahoe County before he proceeded to chase the driver of the gray Dodge in the area north of Watkins.

As Frias-Chavarria attempted to pass the gray truck, he collided head-on with a Volkswagen Jetta carrying four people. The collision was so violent that the sedan’s engine was ejected from the car and propelled into a nearby field, according to a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office.

The woman in the front passenger seat of the Jetta, 19-year-old Valerie Vigil of Denver, was declared dead at the scene.

Several other people traveling in the Jetta were also injured in the crash, which occurred as Frias-Chavarria was driving about 60 miles per hour, according to the local DA’s office.

Three people traveling in the gray Dodge, which also became ensnared in the pile-up, and a passenger driving with Frias-Chavarria sustained injuries, too.

Several local law enforcement agencies, including the Aurora Police Department, responded to the crash scene.

Pictured: Valerie Vigil. Photo provided by the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

“The defendant was involved in a minor collision, then a road rage incident ensued. He wouldn’t let it go, and he pursued the other driver, attempting to pass him in oncoming lanes,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Casey Brown said in a statement. “His blood-alcohol level at the time was well above legal limits, which impacted his decision-making and resulted in this terrible, irreversible outcome. The magnitude of this loss cannot be put into words.”

State business filings show that Frias-Chavarria had opened a plumbing business in Aurora about a month before the collision. The company still exists, but has since moved its primary location to Denver.

Frias-Chavarria is currently detained at the Arapahoe County jail awaiting transfer to state prison, records show.

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gloria puester
gloria puester
3 months ago

Only six years? Road rage plus alcohol plus a death deserves more than this token sentence.

Trebor Cadeau
Trebor Cadeau
3 months ago

Should be in prison for as long as Valerie Vigilikely would have lived.

3 months ago

This story is missing a few critical pieces of information. This case looks like it was pleaded out, no trial. The plea deal created a vast blue sky opportunity to be seized on. Be that as it may, it was used in this case very effectively to negotiate many years shaved off, Chavarria, not subject, to be someone’s cellmate.