In February of 2011, Monica Chavez killed a family of five when she lost control of her SUV, apparently while having a seizure. She was going 100 mph at the time of the fatal car accident. On June 15, a jury found Chavez not guilty of five charges of negligent homicide and two counts of child abuse (her two children were in the car with her at the time).
The prosecution argued that Chavez knew she had a medical condition that left her in no state to drive, and the defense argued that Chavez’s family doctor said she was okay to drive.
Family members of the deceased Stollsteimer family (Randy and Crystaldawn, with sons Sebastian, Darrian and Cyrus) are outraged at the verdict, and they hope to change Colorado driving law to prevent anything like this accident from happening again.
“The justice system – in this case – failed our children,” said Rich Headley, Crystaldawn’s father.
In response to the verdict, the family has started a petition that will require doctors to report potentially unsafe drivers to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
“There are people out there driving with these kinds of conditions that we need to be careful about so this doesn’t happen,” said Bernadette Martinez, Randy’s cousin.
There are currently six states with such laws on the books: California, Oregon, Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. If the petition gains enough signatures, we could see such a law in Colorado books with a few years. If so, it will hopefully prevent tragic car accidents like this one.
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The Metier Law Firm, LLC – Denver injury lawyers