Hartford Grad Killed in Accident

Sean Densmore (Courtesy Eric Newton)

Sean Densmore (Courtesy Eric Newton)

Hartford — When Sean Densmore ran for class president at Hartford High School, he won easily because of his wicked sense of humor, his relaxed attitude and a personality that caused just about everyone he met to immediately be drawn to him and want to get to know him.

Densmore, 24, died on Sunday in what Denver Police are calling a hit and run accident, which is still being investigated.

Densmore was crossing Interstate 25 in Denver at about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday when he was struck by a vehicle, according to Denver Police. The vehicle fled the scene without stopping. A second vehicle traveling in the northbound lane also struck Densmore. The second driver stopped and notified police. Densmore was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police are still investigating the accident and trying to find the driver who hit Densmore and fled. Police have shared an image of a broken side view mirror that was found on the scene in hopes that the public can help identify the vehicle.

Interstate 25 is a major artery where the average speed is 70 mph, and Densmore was crossing the lanes of traffic, said Michelle Weiss-Samaras, the director of operations for the medical examiner’s office in Denver.

Sonny Jackson, public information officer with the Denver Police, said it’s illegal to walk across the interstate in Colorado.

“He didn’t have a broken down vehicle so we don’t know at this point in time why he was walking on the interstate,” Jackson said.

Densmore’s parents, Brian and Gloria Densmore, declined to comment for this story.

Densmore moved to Colorado soon after graduating from Hartford High in 2008, but he kept in touch with friends from high school, many of whom are scattered across the country, and he is fondly remembered by his teachers and home town.

Earning the position of class president was a testimony to Densmore’s likability and leadership, said Douglas Heavisides, director of the Hartford Area Career and Technology Center and Densmore’s former English teacher.

“Kids really liked him because he was ... what you saw was what you got,” Heavisides said. “He was sincere, genuine, humble, very down to earth.

In high school, there is a tendency for students to divide into cliques, but Densmore bridged those social divides and was liked by pretty much everyone he met , Heavisides said.

After he was elected class president, he would dress up for football games, sometimes donning a trash can and painting his face red, white and blue.

He was known for growing thick facial hair , and won a “beard war” with a close friend in high school.

As class president, he gave a speech at graduation that was meant to give his fellow students a good laugh.

He started off his speech by saying, “First, we have to get some names out of the way,” Densmore said before listing off his classmates. “They all gave me five bucks to say their names.”

Densmore’s long-time friend Eric Newton said that he and his friends were reminiscing about that speech a few days ago.

“That speech was so epic,” Newton said. “He basically got up there and said whatever he wanted and it was hilarious. He knew people would love it because he spoke from the heart.”

Densmore also pointed out to his fellow students that a high school diploma is pretty average, and that they will achieve even greater things in the future. “Congratulations for what you will accomplish,” he told his class.

Densmore loved to ski, kayak and hike, all of which drew him to Colorado, Newton said. He studied at the University of Colorado at Boulder before later transferring to Metropolitan State University of Denver, where he was studying history and education. He planned to become a teacher, Newton said.

“I know he would have been an awesome teacher,” Newton said.

He was also a solid s tudent. He was often on the honor roll, and he was a gifted and witty writer of both fiction and poetry, according to Newton and his obituary.

Riley Flanagan, who went to high school with Densmore, said Densmore had a Hunter S. Thompson quality to him and he had a style of writing that could “go all over the place,” but had a constant theme.

He had no shortage of work ethic, Heavisides said, but he was humble and did not boast about his good grades.

“He worked really hard at it, but if you were to meet him, it wasn’t like the academics were all of him,” Heavisides said. “He really was a complete person. You wouldn’t know when you met him that he was as exceptional as he was.”

He was not judg mental, and he simply loved being around people. When he was with his group of friends, they didn’t need to be doing “high profile” activities, they just needed to be gathered for Densmore to be content, Newton said.

Both Flanagan and Newton visited Densmore in Colorado, and another small group of friends took a road trip across the country with Densmore as their final destination. Another friend called him the “centerpiece” of their group of friends and of the Hartford Class of 2008.

“He could brighten up a room the second he walked into it,” Newton said. “I would visit him in Colorado and I was so pumped the second I saw him. He was the type of person you wanted to be around, he just drew people in.”

Sarah Brubeck can be reached at sbrubeck@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.