Mother was using drugs, alcohol before I-70 crash that killed 2-year-old daughter, prosecutors say

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. -- The mother of a 2-year-old girl that was killed in a crash on westbound Interstate 70 in the foothills in August has been charged with vehicular homicide, the First Judicial District Attorney's Office announced on Wednesday.

Samantha Maestas, 29, was also charged with child abuse resulting in death, possession of a controlled substance, DUI, two counts of careless driving resulting in injury, driving under restraint, divided highway violation and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Maestas was driving eastbound on I-70 west of the Genesee exit around 3:10 p.m. on Aug. 10 and as she was approaching heavy traffic, she took "evasive action to avoid a rear-end collision, over-corrected, and lost control of her car," according to an arrest affidavit.

It caused her to cross the median and go into the westbound lanes of I-70 where she collided with a pickup truck driven by Todd Vernick, 43, of Longmont.

The crash killed Maestas' 2-year-old daughter Sophia Maestas.

Vernick and his passenger, Erin Lehman, suffered minor injuries in the crash.

An arrest warrant was issued for Maestas on Saturday. Bond has been set at $15,000.

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