Drunk driver sentenced to 18 years in prison for killing an Aurora couple in crash

A drunk driver who killed an Aurora couple in a crash on Interstate 225, and who initially fled the scene of the crash on foot, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Cameron Michael Smith, 28, of Aurora, was sentenced Thursday for killing 23-year-old Amber Hamblin and 25-year-old Ja’Rel Woods, according to an Arapahoe County District Attorney’s Office news release.

On Oct. 27, 2019, Hamblin and Woods were driving through the intersection of I-225 and East Mississippi Avenue in Aurora when Smith T-boned Hamblin’s SUV. Hamblin died at the scene and Woods suffered multiple injuries including spinal fractures, a broken pelvis, and a bruised lung. He died a week later, according to the release.

Smith fled the crash scene, but he left his wallet and driver’s license behind in the wrecked car. He was arrested a short time later trying to get a ride at a nearby gas station, according to the release. Smith, who had prior DWAI and reckless driving convictions, worked at a bar where he had been drinking prior to driving home and causing the crash. At the time, he was wanted for failure to appear in court on a traffic offense.

“It pains me to see yet another case where a defendant is drunk and yet makes the decision to get behind the wheel, with fatal consequences,” said District Attorney John Kellner, in the release. “And here, the drunk driver killed two people, looked at what he had done and ran off without offering help or calling for assistance. Absolutely this defendant deserves to be in prison for his actions.”

On Feb. 22, Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide DUI, and to one count of first-degree assault extreme indifference, both felonies. Other counts against him were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. Arapahoe County District Court Judge Shay Whitaker sentenced Smith.

“This defendant has hurt so many families — not only mine and Ja’Rel’s, but also his own. … To know that he was able to go up to the car, and instead of choosing to help the people that he hit, he ran and hid. It is so callous and uncaring I can barely fathom the thought,” Amber Hamblin’s father told the court at the sentencing hearing. “In those moments, his help might have helped save a life, but we will never know.”

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