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Centennial man pleads guilty to causing crash that killed CSP trooper during March blizzard

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Posted at 6:37 AM, Oct 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-03 08:37:31-04

GREELEY, Colo. — The driver accused of crashing into and killing a Colorado State Patrol trooper during a March blizzard pleaded guilty to the felony charge Wednesday.

John Carpenter, 58, of Centennial, pleaded guilty to a charge of failure to exercise due care when approaching a stationary vehicle resulting in death. An initial second charge of careless driving causing death was dismissed.

On March 13, CSP Cpl. Daniel Groves was helping a stranded motorist on Interstate 76, just west of Roggen, during the massive blizzard. The driver of a 2001 Volvo, who was later identified as Carpenter, lost control and struck Groves outside his patrol vehicle. Groves was transported to Platte Valley Medical Center, where he died. Carpenter had moderate injuries from the crash.

Groves was remembered at a memorial service in April as a fun, music-loving family man and proud member of the CSP. The chief of CSP said he was "one of our very best." He started his career with the CSP in 2007. He is survived by his partner of two years.

Carpenter will be sentenced December 4.