Family of fatal crash victim says suspect should have been in jail

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DENVER — Family members of a woman killed in a fatal car crash are asking questions about the driver accused of causing it  — a woman they say shouldn’t have been out of jail or behind the wheel.

The crash happened at South Federal Boulevard and West Kentucky Avenue on Sunday afternoon.

The Denver Police Department said Ernestina Rosendo-Ponce was speeding when she t-boned 38-year-old Shuvonne Wickard and her husband Robert Lucero, who were driving home after filling a prescription for one of their four children. Wickard died at the scene.

“You can’t measure what we lost. There’s no measuring to a loss of somebody who was loved. A mother, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, you can’t measure that,” said Jessica Olivas, Wickard’s sister-in-law.

Court records show Rosendo-Ponce was arrested in mid-January on a warrant for failing to appear in court for a separate case of driving with a suspended, revoked or restrained license.

Despite her long history of traffic arrests and failures to appear, a Denver judge let Rosendo-Ponce out of jail two weeks ago on a personal recognizance bond.

“She wasted her life. She’s destroyed us,” said Wickard’s father, Kirk Wickard.

“We have to live with this every day for the rest of our lives. My nieces and nephews don’t have their mom. She can’t replace that. No time spent in jail can bring Shuvonne back. No time in jail can heal my brother’s broken heart. We need some new laws,” Olivas said.

Rosendo-Ponce faces vehicular homicide charges. She will be booked into jail once she is released from the hospital.

Lucero is also in the hospital recovering from serious injuries suffered in the crash.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help him and his four children with bills and funeral arrangements for his wife.

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