11News Investigates: Cold Reporting

There were no flashing lights, no sirens, no police at all when Colleen Sheppard was involved in an accident.

"I called 911. I had told them I was 32 weeks pregnant and I wasn't sure if the baby was okay. They said because it was cold reporting and there were not any visible injuries, that they were not going to be sending anybody," Collen Sheppard told 11 News.

You've likely heard of cold reporting before. It's a policy Springs police use when they're busy, often during bad weather. It means instead of sending an officer to a crash, drivers are told to exchange information, then go online and fill out a form.

Colleen asked for an ambulance, but police said no. Instead, her husband rushed to the scene.

Brendan Sheppard says, "We saw three police officers drive by while we were waiting for the fire truck. None of them stopped."

More worried about their baby than their car, the couple rushed to the ER.

Days later, after learning the baby was okay, the insurance company giving her grief.

Colleen believed the other driver had caused the accident, but the other driver's insurance company said it wasn't liable. Without a police report, there was little she could do.

Colleen was stuck with a $3,600 repair bill.

Call For Action Betty Sexton went to Springs police, who admitted this shouldn't have happened. Because of her questions, they've decided to change their policy.

Barbara Miller with the Colorado Springs Police Department says, "Because of your questions and your curiosity as to this and what we can do...they're now offering citizens the option of requesting an officer to come out regardless of the situation."

Springs police say it may take awhile, but if you ask, an officer will be sent.

If you do decide to leave the scene before an officer arrives, here's how to protect yourself:

First, get the names of other witnesses. If you have a camera on your phone, take pictures of the scene.

Consider getting collision coverage added to your insurance policy.

If there's ever a question, collision coverage will pay for your car damage no matter who caused it.

As for Colleen and her baby, little Nicholas was born on Tuesday, and both he and Collen are doing great.

Because the Sheppards only had liability insurance, they're now pursuing legal action against the other driver and her insurance company.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Average person on Apr 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM
    Please, stop thinking that you are deserved. The wife got into a small accident in the snow, freaked out, called her husband and he came out. That's what should have happened. Don't blame CSPD for your inconvenience. It's your responsibility to take care of yourself and your family. Really...this is news??
  • by Anonymous on Apr 27, 2012 at 08:35 AM
    gee its like the CSPD has something more imortant to do like catcha actual criminals not people who dont know how to drive... post some real news
  • by Budget Location: COS on Apr 27, 2012 at 05:04 AM
    Possibly the newly approved budget selection for all the surveillance cameras, would allow people to obtain a copy of the incident for their insurance companies?
  • by Doug on Apr 26, 2012 at 10:36 PM
    So why doesn't CSPD cover her bill? How about publishing the name of the victim's insurance company and agent so they can get the spotlight on them... Publish the other insurance company's name also...
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