Colorado Springs man found guilty of killing 2 high school students while driving under the influence of alcohol, pot

Ricky Avalos-Trujillo
Ricky Avalos-Trujillo(Douglas County Sheriff's Office via CBS Denver)
Published: May. 11, 2023 at 5:44 AM MDT
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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (KKTV) - A Colorado Springs man faces up to 30 years in prison after he was found guilty this week of killing two high school seniors while driving drunk and high.

Ricky Avalos-Trujillo, 25, was traveling in the wrong direction on an I-25 frontage road just south of Castle Rock last August when he smashed into a pickup carrying four 17-year-olds. Two of the passengers, Audrey Todd and Colton Bellamy, died shortly after reaching the hospital, while another girl in the truck survived but suffered critical injuries. Only the driver, who troopers say was the lone teen wearing a seat belt that morning, walked away from the collision with moderate injuries.

A spokesperson with Colorado State Patrol said at the time of the crash that responsibly fell entirely on Avalos-Trujillo and his decision to drive under the influence, but that the collision served as a grim reminder how important it is to wear a seat belt.

“We certainly don’t want to blame any victims in terms of what occurred -- in this case, it solely is the responsibility of what took place seemingly with this other driver [the drunk driver] -- but ultimately, come down to protect yourself, make sure you’re as safe as possible whenever you’re in a vehicle because we simply don’t know what could take place,” said Trooper Josh Lewis.

Audrey and Colton were both on the verge of starting their senior year at Castle View High School when they were killed.

Avalos-Trujillo told troopers that he had fallen asleep at the wheel.

“A trooper noted Avalos-Trujillo had bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech and the odor of alcohol coming from his mouth. Blood test results showed a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .091 and marijuana (THC) level of 7.7ng (nanograms) in his system,” the 18th Judicial District said.

He was arrested at the scene and charged with two counts of vehicular homicide-DUI, two counts of careless driving resulting in injury, two counts of careless driving resulting in death, and one count of vehicular assault. Wednesday, the DA’s office announced he had been found guilty on all counts.

“Audrey and Colton were about to begin their senior year of high school when this preventable tragedy occurred,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Meghan Gallo. “While no sentence will bring these children back to their parents, I hope this conviction brings some closure to Audrey and Colton’s friends and family.”

Avalos-Trujillo will be sentenced July 14.

“Every death caused by a drunk or drugged driver is 100 percent preventable,” 18th Judicial District Attorney John Kellner said. “This defendant made the decision to drink, smoke and get behind the wheel. With that selfish decision, he stole the lives of two kids.”