GOP chair charged, but hours later DA's Office dismisses charges

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The Colorado Springs Police Department no more than announced the filing of charges against a man who struck his friend crossing a street last month than the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office dismissed them.

On March 28, El Paso County GOP Chair Trevor Dierdorff, 45, put his vehicle in reverse to try to snag a parking place outside the El Paso Club downtown. His vehicle struck Melvin Tolbert, 79, who was crossing the street. Both were headed to an event at the club and knew one another. Tolbert ran Platte Floral for many years.

On April 2, Tolbert died of his injuries.

"Mr. Dierdorff was charged with Careless Driving Causing Death, a Class 1 Misdemeanor Traffic Offense, and Drivers to Exercise Due Care, a Class A Traffic Infraction," the CSPD announced in an email at 12:53 p.m. today, April 19.

At 4 p.m., the DA's Office issued a news release saying:
According to Colorado state law, it is not illegal to drive in reverse on a roadway. In addition, “Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.” (C.R.S. 42-4-803)

Additional investigation revealed that Mr. Dierdorff did check his rear view camera while reversing and that Mr. Tolbert was not in his path when he started reversing.

In reviewing applicable law, the District Attorney’s Office has concluded that charges are not appropriate in this case. The charges filed against Trevor Dierdorff will be dismissed.

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