Entries in Monica Chavez (2)


Monica Chavez Found Not Guilty in Car Crash That Killed Family of 5, Caused by Possible Seizure

(THORNTON, Colo.) -- A Colorado woman who suffered an apparent seizure right before getting into a car crash that killed a family of five was found not guilty of negligent homicide.

Monica Chavez was driving more than 100 miles per hour with her two kids in Feb. 2011.

She apparently had a seizure when she entered an intersection, went airborne and smashed into two cars on a Thornton, Colo., street. Randy and Crystaldawn Stollsteimer, and their kids, Sebastian, Darrian, and Cyrus, died instantly.

"It's wrong. This verdict is wrong," said Jessica Johnson, a relative of the Stollsteimer family on Friday.

Only six states require a doctor to tell the department of motor vehicles when a patient is diagnosed with seizures. The Stollsteimer family, outraged by the verdict, hopes to make Colorado the seventh.

Prosecutors argued Chavez should not have been behind the wheel because of another seizure-like episode she had in 2006. After the 2006 episode, doctors told Chavez in the emergency room that she should not drive until cleared by a neurologist, prosecutor Tiffany Score said.

She ignored the order, according to prosecutors, but defense attorneys counter that Chavez saw her own doctor who was not convinced she'd had a seizure.

"No doctor will tell you that she should not have been driving five years after something that they never called a seizure," defense attorney Megan Downing said. "She was told she was fine and that's why she was in the car that day."

Chavez suffered another seizure at a McDonalds in August 2010, according to prosecutors.

Chavez's husband, George, said the 2010 incident didn't raise a red flag because he thought she just blacked out from suffering a heat stroke, according to ABC News station KMGH-TV in Denver.

Chavez was charged with five counts of negligent homicide and two counts of child abuse for putting her own children in danger.

The Chavez case received renewed national attention after Commerce Secretary John Bryson was charged with a felony hit-and-run last weekend after he says he suffered a seizure while driving. Bryson was found blacked out after hitting two cars. No one was injured.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


SUV Goes Airborne and Lands on Pickup, Killing Family of Five

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(THORTON, Colo.) -- Police are trying to determine what caused a Colorado woman to speed through an intersection and cause a horrendous chain reaction that launched her car into the air before landing on a small pickup truck, instantly killing a family of five.

The SUV, a Ford Expedition, was driven by Monica Chavez, 33, who had two young children in the vehicle with her when she began weaving through traffic at high speeds during Thursday's rush hour, police and witnesses said.

"We've not determined the cause of the accident," said Thornton Police Department spokesman Matt Barnes. "We don't know if it was reckless driving, something medical, or drugs and alcohol."

Until the investigation is concluded, Barnes said, charges will not be pressed.

Police are awaiting the results of a toxicology report which Barnes said was still some days away to determine if Chavez was intoxicated at the time.

Chavez was headed south on a highway outside Denver when she drove into an intersection and struck a car that was making a turn in front of Chavez, police reports said. After striking the Mazda, the SUV hit a median that propelled it into the air.

The vehicle landed on top of a small Chevrolet S-10 pickup, crushing it and killing a family of five riding in the truck.

The victims in the truck were identified as Randy Stollsteimer and Crystal Stollsteimer and their sons, Sebastian, 12, Darian, 8, and Cyrus, 6.

After landing on the truck, the SUV rolled across a parking lot and crashed into the plate-glass window of a mattress store, injuring one man inside from flying shards of glass.

Paul Roggow, owner of Urban Mattress Store, said the car came careening into his store, demolishing a desk and stopping inches from where he was standing.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio