WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- It’s something many do every day. But a trip to pick up dinner Tuesday night ended in the death of a Thornton woman.
Jessica Holman, 33, became an innocent victim of truck-and-trailer thieves who crashed head-on into her SUV in Westminster.
She was driving southbound on Wadsworth Parkway north of West 94th Avenue when two men in a stolen truck traveling northbound on Wadsworth, with police in pursuit, crossed the median and hit her, the Westminster Police Department said.
Even before the crash, the thieves were trying to outrun the man whose truck they had stolen. Witness video captured the deadly crash moments after it happened.
Smoke rose from Holman's overturned Jeep after the impact as a police officer in the background tried to chase down a suspect who was long gone.
But it’s heartbreak that now remains for the Holman family. The mother of a 10-year-old was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“It is our understanding she was going to pick up some dinner for her family and was struck by this F-350,” Westminster police investigator Cheri Spottke said.
But before the crash, the trouble began about two miles away in the 8600 block of 86th Circle.
“Victim stated his F-350, which had a trailer attached. ... Two razers were on that trailer. It was stolen and he was following the vehicle,” Spottke said.
Then, about 2 1/2 miles away, one of the ATVs fell off the trailer in the 8600 block of Queen Street. Minutes later, police caught up to the suspects near 94th Avenue and Wadsworth Parkway just as they crossed the median and hit Holman.
Investigators are checking to see if police should have followed the criminals at all.
“It was too late to call it off. It’s my understanding it didn’t go for very long once the officer activated the lights and sirens,” Spottke said.
Police said the only people to blame are the thieves. But they reiterate to the public: Don’t take action into your own hands.
“We always tell callers who are following: It’s property. And it’s unfortunate and it means a lot to you, but it not worth your life or someone else’s life,” Spottke said.
It’s a life that ended so suddenly -- a life marked by the faith and love of those who knew her. Holman’s family has requested privacy and declined to speak Wednesday.
Police are still searching for the second suspect. They have released a vague description of a Hispanic man wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans.