By Brian Maass
DENVER, Colorado (KDKA) — Christopher Cordova says nearly two and a half years after a Denver police officer was ticketed for crashing into him and causing serious injuries, the City of Denver has refused to discuss paying for his injuries, medical care or lost wages despite repeated requests.
“But it’s disappointing there’s no accountability,” Cordova told CBS News Colorado. “An apology would have been nice.”
Cordova, 53, is a driver for a bakery, delivering bread and baked goods around Denver before dawn. A Denver native, he has been doing it for 27 years.
On the morning of April 13, 2021, Cordova was on Quebec Street headed toward his first delivery. Denver Police Officer Jacob Marsh was in an unmarked city SUV, in uniform and apparently working an off-duty job. According to an accident report, Marsh was headed southbound on Quebec Street in the northbound lanes at a high rate of speed. There are indications he was following another driver. Cordova says there were no lights or sirens. Marsh crashed into Cordova’s bakery delivery truck at an estimated 75 mph. The speed limit in the area was 45 mph.
“And then everything went slow motion,” said Cordova, “I realized I was in a head-on collision with a vehicle.”
Marsh was charged with vehicular assault, a felony. Police said at the time the officer suffered a broken hand.
Cordova’s injuries were serious as he suffered a fractured leg leading to surgery and had a titanium plate and eight screws placed in his leg. His attorney says his medical bills approached $80,000.
But Cordova and his attorney say for two and a half years, their attempts to get the City of Denver to assist Cordova with medical and other expenses have gone nowhere.
“The only reason we are talking,” said attorney Sean Olson, “is because the city refused to take accountability for anything their officer did.”
Olson said he has heard “excuse after excuse” from city attorneys on why the city hasn’t accepted any responsibility for what happened.
Marsh’s case went to trial and he was acquitted of the traffic charge. The Denver Police Department says Marsh left the agency earlier this year.
“I think about it every day,” said Cordova.”I feel the pain every day. It changes your life, it changes who you are.”
Unable to get the city to come to the table, Olson filed a lawsuit against the City of Denver on Sept. 28.
Contacted by CBS News Colorado, Melissa Sisneros, a spokesperson for the Denver City Attorney’s Office, said, “The City Attorney’s Office does not have a comment on this case at this time as it is pending litigation.”
Cordova said in the last two and a half years he did hear from the city once when they wanted him to testify against Marsh during his criminal trial.
Regarding the city’s lack of response to his accident, Cordova asked, “Who’s next? Who’s after me? I don’t want that to happen.”
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