Boulder County deputy charged with vehicular assault in Diagonal Highway crash

A Boulder County sheriff’s deputy has been charged with vehicular assault in connection with a crash on Diagonal Highway while the deputy was responding to a call.

Daniel Pratt, 45, is charged with two counts of vehicular assault, a Class 5 felony, according to a release from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office.

The charges follow a Colorado State Patrol investigation into a crash on Aug. 12 at Diagonal Highway and Niwot Road.

According to investigators, Pratt was on duty and responding in his patrol vehicle to a report of a large fight at the Boulder County Fairgrounds.

Pratt, who had activated his lights and sirens, headed north on Diagonal Highway and ran a red light at the intersection and struck a Prius going eastbound on Niwot Road.

The passengers of the Prius, a 67-year-old man and a 70-year-old woman from Erie, were both seriously injured and taken to Boulder Community Health’s Foothills Hospital.

While an affidavit was not immediately available, a release from the Boulder County District Attorney’s Office said investigators conducted a crash reconstruction analysis and investigation into “the speed of the vehicles, the right of way, the red traffic light, the observations of eyewitnesses, the sheriff’s office policy for activating lights and sirens, as well as the policy for approaching a red traffic light while running emergent.”

“I appreciate the thorough investigation by the Colorado State Patrol,” Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said in a statement. “This crash was incredibly scary, and the victims were seriously injured.”

The sheriff’s office has also started its own internal investigation to determine if disciplinary action is required.

Pratt is on administrative leave without pay pending the conclusion of the criminal case.

Pratt is set for a first court appearance on Friday.

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