Newspaper Ad Prints Public Apology From Driver In Fatal DUI Crash

It was July of 2009 when Dylan Salazar crashed his car while he was drunk driving on Garden of the Gods Road in Colorado Springs. David Mueller, his friend and fellow UCCS student, was a passenger in that car and died at the scene of the crash.

In February, Salazar was sentenced to 12 years in prison, and a deal was worked out with the consent of the Mueller family. As long as Salazar completes four years with Youth Offender Services and a mandatory three years of supervised probation, the 12-year jail sentence will be suspended. Salazar was also required to take out an advertisement in a local paper with a public apology.

In The Scribe's weekly paper, April 6 - April 12, Salazar's full page ad was printed on page 6. It reads as follows:

Regarding the death of David Mueller: To the family, friends, coaches and teammates of Mr. Mueller, and the community as a whole.

Please accept my most sincere apology for my behavior. I have thought long and hard about what happened and I realize how very upset you must have been. I just want to say how sorry I am to everyone involved for creating the situation which I know should never occurred. I admit that I was in the wrong. I can promise you that this will never happen again and I will do everything in my power to stop someone from making the same horrible mistake mistake. I hope that you will give me the opportunity to prove this to you. I understand that it might be difficult for you to accept my apology but hope that this letter will help. I never thought, in a million years, that something this horrific would happen to someone that did not deserve it, and knowing it was my fault just kills me inside.

-Dylan Salazar

The ad also featured a picture of David Mueller before his death.

In the arrest affidavit, it notes Salazar told police on the night of the crash that he was traveling about 90 mph on Garden of the Gods Road and swerved to miss a bunny. He says that's why he lost control of his car. Police say he also told them he had two shots of alcohol and a half cup of beer before driving.

The affidavit also says Salazar's speech was slurred, he smelled of alcohol and his eyes were blood shot after the crash.

David Mueller, who was 19 when he was killed, was a 2008 graduate from Coronado High School and was the star of the track team.

For a long time after the crash, pictures and written memorials, along with a large cross, marked the place where Mueller lost his young life.