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Trial begins for woman accused of killing family of 5 in crash

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Monica Chavez

BRIGHTON, Colo. – Opening statements were made Tuesday in the trial of Monica Chavez who is accused of killing an Adams County family of five last year in a car crash.

Chavez has pleaded not guilty to five counts of negligent homicide and two counts of child abuse.

Prosecutors say she ignored a doctor’s order not to drive after suffering two seizure-like episodes.

In February of 2011, police say Chavez was driving on the wrong side of the road at speeds up to 100 miles per hour when her SUV flipped on top of the Stollsteimer’s pick-up truck at 84th Avenue and Grant Street in Thornton.

The crash killed Randy Stollsteimer, 34, his wife Crystaldawn, 31, and their three boys Sebastian, 12, Darrian, 9, and Cyrus, 6.

Chavez also had her two children in the SUV during the crash. Both suffered minor injuries.

12-year-old Syria Chavez, the daughter of Monica Chavez, broke into tears before questioning Tuesday morning.

In describing what happened, Syria said her mother told her she could not breathe, and began to shake while at a stop light. Syria described the car beginning to speed up after her mother’s foot became stuck on the pedal.

Syria says she remembers the call rolling, being upside down, and calling her father.

The trial is expected to last three days.