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Colorado sheriff’s commander gets probation for fatal crash

Adams County Sheriff's Office
Posted at 2:04 PM, Feb 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-29 16:04:30-05

BRIGHTON (AP) — A sheriff’s commander who was involved in a crash that killed an elderly woman northeast of Denver has been sentenced to two years of probation and must complete 250 hours of community service.

John Paul Bitterman with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office was sentenced Friday for careless driving in the March 28 crash that killed 85-year-old Eira Saenz Sandoval.

Prosecutors say Bitterman was on duty in an unmarked patrol vehicle when he ran a stop sign and crashed into an SUV Sandoval was riding in. Sandoval’s 58-year-old daughter, who was driving the SUV, suffered a fractured tibia and sternum.

Investigators say Bitterman had not been dispatched to a call before the crash and did not turn on the vehicle’s lights or siren. Evidence also showed that he was logging into his computer system while driving in the moments before the crash.