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Woman Told Not To Drive Before Crash That Killed Family

DENVER (CBS4/AP) - Court documents say the woman accused of killing a family of five when her SUV landed on top of their truck in Thornton had been told by doctors not to drive.

Doctors told Monica Chavez, 34, she shouldn't drive after a seizure-like episode in 2006. According to an arrest affidavit, Chavez was told to see a specialist but she said she couldn't afford that.

The affidavit stated the doctor told Chavez, "No driving until cleared by a neurologist … had a seizure -- until problem has been fully tested do not drive, operate machinery or swim."

She is charged with five counts of criminally negligent homicide in the deaths of Randy and Crystal Stollsteimer and their three boys. She's out on bond after turning herself in to police last week.

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

Police say drugs and alcohol weren't a factor in the February accident. They say Chavez's SUV crossed a median, struck a sedan, went airborne and landed on the family's pickup.

Relatives have said Chavez must have had medical problems before the crash.

Legal analyst Craig Silverman says her history of seizures will be a focus for both sides in court.

"The defense will say, 'Sorry, this was an unavoidable accident, she could have never anticipated something as terrible as this,'" Silverman said.

But the prosecution will come at it at a different angle.

"'Driving is a privilege, you're risking other people's lives,'" Silverman said. "So while it might be a mitigating factor if and when she faces a court on sentencing, I don't think it will be persuasive in front of a jury."

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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