Off-duty Colo. firefighter killed in hit-and-run
Greeley firefighter Steven Michael Kuzik, a 21-year veteran of the department, was on his way to work at the time of the crash
Greeley Tribune, Colo.
GREELEY, Colo. — The Weld County Coroner has identified the victim of Thursday’s fatal hit-and-run crash as 58-year-old Greeley firefighter Steven Michael Kuzik.
Kuzik was a 21-year veteran firefighter who was on his way to work at the time of the crash, according to a Greeley police news release. He was taken to North Colorado Medical Center in serious condition following the crash, which took place about 6:30 a.m. in the 1300 block of 5th Street. He was pronounced dead at 7:12 a.m., the release stated.
Kuzik was awarded the Firefighter of the Year for the Greeley Fire Department two years ago.
“We are keeping the family of firefighter Steve Kuzik and the Greeley Fire Department in our thoughts and prayers,” the Greeley police news release stated.
Greeley Fire chief Dale Lyman said Kuzik was one of those guys who didn’t have any enemies and who loved being a firefighter.
“Steve was one of those guys everyone respected and loved,” Lyman said. “He always had a positive attitude and really, truly loved being a firefighter.
“It’s just been a difficult day for the Greeley Fire Department.”
In a statement released late Thursday afternoon, Greeley division chief Pete Morgan thanked the community for its support in the wake of Kuzik’s tragic death.
“The Greeley Fire Department would like to thank our community and surrounding community members for their outpouring of support over the loss of firefighter Steve Kuzik,” Morgan said in the statement, which was emailed to The Tribune. “Today was an incredibly difficult day and we could not have gotten through it without the support of countless individuals and organizations.
“Steve was an outstanding firefighter and will be greatly missed. But we didn’t just lose a firefighter; we lost a friend, a brother, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a son. Steve is irreplaceable.”
The Greeley Fire Department is mourning the loss of a veteran firefighter who passed away today from injuries sustained in an off-duty traffic collision. Please keep his family and the Greeley Fire Department family in your thoughts and prayers.— Greeley Fire Dept. (@GreeleyFire) April 25, 2019
Greeley police announced Thursday afternoon it has arrested a 25-year-old Grover man in connection with Thursday’s fatal hit-and-run crash in Greeley.
Cody Shane Boetger was booked Thursday afternoon into the Weld County Jail on suspicion of being involved in a hit-and-run crash resulting in death, a felony, and misdemeanor charges of driving on the wrong side of the roadway and driving under denial, said Sgt. Joe Tymkowych, spokesman for Greeley police.
The crash occurred about 6:30 a.m. in the 1300 block of 5th Street. Boetger was driving west in an SUV on 5th Street when he veered into the eastbound lanes, crashing head-on with a motorcycle.
Boetger then fled the scene, Tymkowych said. He was located, stopped and arrested by Cmdr. Fred Meyer, who heard the details about the crash and the suspect vehicle over the radio while driving into work. Meyer located Boetger and pulled him over near the intersection of Weld County Road 37 and AA Street.
Additional charges could be pending the results of a toxicology screen, Tymkowych said. The investigation is ongoing.
The victim, who has not yet been identified, is a Greeley firefighter who was off-duty at the time of the crash. He was initially taken to North Colorado Medical Center in serious condition. He later died from his injuries.
The firefighter’s name will be released following notification of next of kin. Tymkowych thinks that information could be released as early as later this afternoon.
The Greeley Fire Department acknowledged the loss in a 2:30 p.m. tweet.
Thursday morning — A man was seriously injured Thursday morning after the driver of an SUV struck the man and his motorcycle in northeast Greeley.
Greeley police and fire crews responded about 6:30 a.m. to the crash on 5th Street near 14th Avenue, according to a release from Greeley police. The SUV left the scene westbound on 5th Street.
On arrival, officers found an unconscious man who wasn’t breathing down in the street with a heavily damaged motorcycle. CPR was immediately initiated. The man was taken to North Colorado Medical Center by ambulance and was in serious condition.
Information about the SUV was issued and an officer found the vehicle and followed it to a location north of Greeley, stopping the driver. The SUV had heavy front-end damage.
Police detained the driver and impounded the vehicle, taking it to the police department evidence bay for obtaining a search warrant and processing.
Greeley police closed 5th Street from 13th to 14th avenues from about 7-10:45 a.m. as they investigated the crash.
The names of the drivers have not been released. More information will be released as it becomes available, according to the release.
©2019 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.)