Chavez not guilty of charges in crash that killed family of 5
THORNTON, Colo. – Monica Chavez, the woman who crashed her SUV into a pickup truck last year, killing a family of five, was acquitted Friday of all seven criminal charges.
An Adams County jury deliberated for less than a day before finding Chavez not guilty on five counts of negligent homicide and two counts of child abuse.
In February of 2011, Chavez apparently suffered a seizure while driving in the area of 84th Avenue and Grant Street in Thornton and veered into oncoming traffic at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
Her SUV flipped on top of the Stollsteimer family’s pickup truck, killing 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.
In a videotaped police interview played for the jury, Chavez said she didn’t remember the crash. She said the last thing she heard was her daughter talking to her husband on the phone.
Prosecutors argued that that Chavez had a history of seizures and was warned not to drive until she was checked by a neurosurgeon five years before the deadly crash.
Defense attorneys argued there were no specific instructions from the emergency room doctor that treated Chavez for an episode in 2006.