Judge denies defendant’s bond in bizarre suicide attempt that claimed teen’s life

Colby Burke told police he tried to kill himself by crashing into another car

SAN ANTONIO – During a bond reduction hearing on Monday, the father of Colby Burke, 26, testified that his son had what was described as a “psychiatric breakdown” when he veered his Jeep into oncoming traffic in July. Burke struck a sedan, killing 19-year-old Savanna Ramos and seriously injuring two others.

Man arrested after causing crash that killed teen during attempt to kill himself

Burke ran from the scene but was caught by police soon after the crash. He told officers that he was trying to kill himself.

“Colby is a very high functioning, very intelligent young man.”, said Dan Burke, Colby Burke’s father, during the hearing on Monday.

Dan Burke said his son is being evaluated by a psychiatrist and treated with medication while in jail.

“Colby started a new medication about a month ago -- I believe four weeks ago, if I’m not mistaken. It seems to have really helped him,” Dan Burke testified.

Prosecutor Gretchen Flader requested that Burke’s bond not be lowered, saying that he “remains a danger to himself and to others.”

Judge Velia Meza agreed with the prosecutor.

“I’m not convinced that he’s not going to get into a car and do it again,” Meza said. “And so at this point, I’m going to deny the motion to reduce bond.”

Meza added that she would be willing to reconsider the motion at a later date, pending an additional psychiatric examination of Burke.

About the Authors:

Paul Venema is a courthouse reporter for KSAT with more than 25 years experience in the role.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.