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Jury Gets Case Of Woman Accused In Deadly Crash

BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4)- Thursday afternoon the jury was handed the case of a woman accused of causing a car crash that killed an entire family from Thornton.

Closing arguments were wrapping up before 5 p.m. Thursday and the jury was expected to begin deliberations Friday morning.

Prosecutors said Monica Chavez was driving in February 2011 in Thornton when she lost control of her SUV, hit a median, went airborne and then landed on top of a pickup truck. Randy and Crystal Stollsteimer and their three boys were in the truck and were killed.

Chavez has pleaded not guilty to charges of criminally negligent homicide.

In court Thursday, prosecutors presented a video recording of a visibly emotional Chavez during an interview with police after the deadly crash.

In the interview, Chavez rocks back and forth in her seat and she explains to the officer that the crash is like a nightmare to her.

"And then I feel selfish because the other family lost their lives," said Chavez.

She also told the officer she would never put her children in danger.

The officer asked if she had a history of seizures and she volunteered information about an episode of shaking and fainting in a grocery store just months before the crash.

"How come you chose not to pursue it," asked Thornton Police Officer Joe Dougherty.

"I was scared, I guess," said Chavez.

Chavez told the officer she was afraid of what she would find out about her health. In the interview she never mentioned the 2006 episode for which she was hospitalized.

Dr. Brian Williams testified on Wednesday that he was 80 percent sure Chavez suffered from a seizure in 2006.

Williams said he told Chavez she needed to see a neurologist within five days of diagnosing her with a seizure in 2006. He also said he told her not to drive until she had been cleared.

But there has been some dispute between prosecutors and defense attorneys about how clear the instructions were when Chavez was discharged.

Randy and Crystal Stollsteimer and their children
Randy and Crystal Stollsteimer and their children (credit: CBS)

It wasn't until the lead investigator searched Chavez's medical files that he found the information that she was instructed to see a neurologist.

Near the end of the interview she told the officer that she didn't do anything on purpose.

"I feel horrible, I feel sad," said Chavez. "I feel thankful that my kids are okay but selfish that a family passed away."

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