Wild times in Divide !

Lori Smith, 44,

California woman accused of driving over her boyfriend

A California woman is now behind bars after reportedly running over her boyfriend with a vehicle, and dragging his body, following a dispute outside a bar/restaurant in Divide. In addition, the suspect driver went over 10-foot retaining wall.   

Lori smith, 44, was apprehended and arrested on a slew of charges, according to officials from the Teller County Sheriff’s Office. These include vehicular assault, domestic violence, leaving the scene of an accident and driving under the influence of alcohol and driving a vehicle with a revoked license. She is being held on a $10,000 bond and had an advisement hearing on Friday. Her arrest has sparked a flurry of reports on social media outlets.  

The incident occurred last Thursday at approximately 4:20 p.m. when deputies from the Teller County Sheriff’s Office responded to multiple 911 calls regarding a hit-and-run vehicle/pedestrian traffic accident on County Road 5 in Divide.  Upon arrival, deputies learned that the suspect vehicle, described by witnesses as  a silver SUV, had fled the scene travelling eastbound on Highway 24 towards Woodland Park.  A regional broadcast was immediately sent out to surrounding law enforcement agencies.  Teller County Sheriff’s deputies located the vehicle on the side of the road near milepost 281 on Highway 24, approximately 2 miles east of Divide.  The vehicle had suffered extensive damage, including a flat front tire.  Smith identified as the driver, of Tustin, California, was found to be intoxicated and was taken into custody.

The victim, identified as Timothy Byrne, age 45, also of Tustin, California, was found in the parking lot adjacent to Russ’ Place, 52 County Road 5 in Divide.  Byrne suffered serious injuries and was flown to a hospital in Colorado Springs, where he remains in critical, but stable condition.

 An investigation conducted by Teller Sheriff Office detectives determined that the two had been involved in a verbal argument outside Russ’ Place.  According to a press release by the sheriff’s department, the victim was standing outside of their vehicle when Smith reversed the vehicle, dragging  Byrne with her over a 10-foot retaining wall into the lower parking lot.  She then placed the vehicle in drive, running over the victim again, and fled the scene.

But she was caught shortly after trying to escape. According to sheriff officials, her vehicle had “extensive damage.” Smith, who was found to be intoxicated, was apprehended two miles east of Divide on the shoulder of U.S. Hwy. 24.

The case represents the first significant hit-and-run incident in Teller County in recent years.