WELD COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — A 26-year-old is being charged with vehicular homicide and reckless driving in a June crash that killed five family members on Interstate 25.
Six months after the deadly crash, Jesus Puebla is being charged with:
- Five counts of vehicular homicide
- One count of vehicular assault
- One count of careless driving
- One count of reckless driving
- One count of commercial vehicle safety violation
- One count of driving without a Commercial Driver’s License
Deadly crash kills family celebrating birthday
The deadly crash occurred back on June 13 on northbound I-25 just south of milepost 243 in Weld County when a Kenworth box truck collided with a 2015 Ford Edge, a 2013 Ford Focus and a 2021 Mitsubishi Outlander.
According to the arrest affidavit, all occupants of the Ford Edge were killed in the crash. The occupants were identified as Emiliano Godines, 51; Christina Godines, 47; Aaron Godinez, 20; Halie Everts, 20; and 3-month-old Tessleigh Godinez.
All occupants of the Edge were from one family that was celebrating a birthday in Denver and heading back to their home in Gillette, Wyoming.
Truck ‘made no effort to brake’
Colorado State Patrol determined that the crash occurred when all four vehicles were traveling in the left lane of northbound I-25 when traffic began to slow to below 10 mph. CSP said the box truck was traveling 76 mph before it rear-ended the Ford Edge. After the first collision, the truck veered left and rear-ended the Ford Focus. The Ford Focus then hit the Mitsubishi Outlander.
A witness to the crash told troopers that the “semi made no effort to brake.” According to the arrest affidavit, there was no indication that the box truck attempted to brake or steer in order to avoid a collision.
According to the arrest affidavit, another witness to the crash described Puebla as “driving pretty aggressively.”
Within the investigation, CSP troopers also discovered that the box truck had several violations relating to the brakes. CSP said the brakes were severe enough that the box truck should have been placed out of service.
While previous reports from CSP states that the driver may have been “distracted,” the arrest affidavit states that information collected from the cell phone carrier shows Puebla was not distracted by his phone during the crash.
In addition to the faulty brakes, Puebla was also driving without the proper license.
According to the arrest affidavit, Puebla did not have a valid medical certificate which is required for a Commercial Driver’s License. Due to this, Puebla’s CDL status was canceled.
Investigators said that Puebla drove the truck in a reckless manner and that was the reason the five victims were killed.