Driver Charged In The Death Of St. Paul Teen
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 50-year-old St. Paul man faces criminal charges after a teenage girl died Thursday when an SUV went off road and struck her while she was sitting on a shady patch of grass.
The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office charged Carlos Viveros-Colorado Friday with one count of criminal vehicular homicide in connection with the death of 16-year-old Clarisse Grime of St. Paul.
Grime died shortly after 1 p.m. near the intersection of East Third and Hazelwood streets. Police said Colorado’s SUV was speeding down Third Street when it lost control taking a sharp, left-hand turn onto Hazelwood. The SUV then knocked out a fire hydrant, ran over a sidewalk, hit a sign and barreled toward where Grime and her boyfriend were sitting.
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Police said a girl saw the SUV slam into the teens and yelled at a near-by officer. The officer drove over and found Grime with what appeared to be severe head and internal injuries.
Grime died before paramedics arrived at the scene, where she was pronounced dead. Grime’s boyfriend, 17-year-old Eduardo Vazquez-Torres, suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Colorado will likely not face charges in connection with hitting Vazquez-Torres, Choi said.
According to a complaint, Colorado told police that both his legs and his right arm went numb at the time of the incident. He said he was trying to avoid hitting a parked car, but then lost control and hit the teenagers. He told police he was going at least 40 mph.
Two witnesses told police Colorado was traveling around 50 mph. Vazquez-Torres guessed he was going 40 mph.
When police took Colorado into custody at the Ramsey County Law Enforcement Center, he gave officers different addresses. Officers also found a check stub in his pocket bearing a different name. Colorado told police he had that name and social security number so he could get paid. Later, when police spoke with Colorado’s sister, she said Colorado is undocumented and lives in the U.S. illegally.
State records also show that Colorado never had a Minnesota driver’s license.
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi called the incident a “tragic and devastating loss for the victim’s family, friends and our community.”
“Our hearts go out to everyone who mourns her passing. We will vigorously pursue justice in this case,” he said.
Grime was attending summer school at Harding High School, which hosts summer classes for most schools in the area. Her classes had just ended when the incident occurred.
If convicted, Colorado could face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000. He is scheduled to be in court Monday. Choi said that if Colorado is convicted there will be “an immigration consequence to him.”
Community In Mourning
At Harding High School, grief counselors met with students. On Friday, Grime’s uncle spoke to her classmates and read a letter from her parents who were too distraught to be there.
“We recently moved to Minnesota from Italy,” the letter read. “We have always dreamed of living in the United States and living out the American dream.”
That dream has now been broken, the letter said.
WCCO-TV also spoke with Vazquez-Torres. Although extremely shaken up, he did say Grime was an incredible girlfriend.
A memorial made of flowers, candles and gifts now stands at the school as a somber reminder of the tragedy.
Clarisse Grimes Memorial Fund
Grime’s family says they have no money for her funeral. They are asking for donations, which can be made out to the Clarisse Grimes Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo bank.