Monica Chavez was driving her SUV through Thornton, Colo. with her two kids when she apparently had a seizure. She reached speeds up to 100 mph, going airborne and crashing into two cars. One of the cars contained a family: Randy and Crystaldawn Stollsteimer and their children Sebastian, Darrian and Cyrus. All five of them died instantly. Chavez’s SUV kept going until it crashed into the front of a mattress store.
The arguments in court focused on medical opinions and personal responsibility. After a similar seizure-related incident in 2006, doctors instructed Chavez not to drive until a neurologist approved her to do so. Instead of seeking a neurologist, Chavez sought out her own doctor who allegedly told her that she may not have even had a seizure and that she was okay to drive.
Chavez had another incident in 2010 at a McDonald’s that Chavez at the time chalked up to passing out from heat exhaustion.
The prosecution argued that Chavez’s medical history indicated that she posed a threat to other drivers and should never have gotten behind the wheel. The defense argued that since her family doctor OK’d her to drive, she had no reason not to.
After a five-hour deliberation, the jury found Chavez not guilty of five counts of negligent homicide and two counts of child abuse. Jessica Johnson, a relative of the deceased family, said: “It’s wrong. The verdict is wrong.”
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