Arvada woman pleads not guilty in Eagle County crash that killed two of her children
September 19, 2017
EAGLE — An Arvada woman rushed around the site of her crashed black 1998 BMW, the blood of her dead children splattered on her clothes, according to police reports.
"My children are dead," Jenny Figaszewski told Colorado State Patrol troopers after last summer's accident, as she asked frantically to use a cell phone.
Police on the scene said they found methamphetamine in Figaszewski's car and that it turned up in a blood sample she voluntarily provided later at the Vail hospital.
Figaszewski told the State Patrol that faulty suspension caused the wreck and kept her from regaining control of the BMW.
Figaszewski is charged with vehicular homicide and child abuse resulting in death.
During a hearing Monday, Sept. 18, before District Court Judge Russell Granger, she pleaded not guilty. The trial is scheduled for February.
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If convicted and sentenced to maximum prison time, then Figaszewski, 44, might not breathe free again for more than 40 years.
Figaszewski did not testify during Monday's hearing.
Colorado State Patrol troopers testified Monday that Figaszewski told them she had battled methamphetamine for 30 years.
When Colorado State Patrol Trooper Collin Remillard interviewed Figaszewski in the Vail hospital after the crash, he said she told him she had been driving from California to Colorado and was sprinkling the meth out the window along the way, "as a cleansing exercise."
Remillard said she told him she knew there would be meth in her system "because she had swallowed a rock the night before."
Under cross examination by Figaszewski's attorney, Chief Public Defender Thea Reiff, Remillard testified that he could not recall ever investigating a methamphetamine crash before and had never investigated a crash with the mother of two dead children at the scene.
Reiff pointed out that Remillard's interview was done while Figaszewski "was in the hospital following a rollover crash that killed two of her children."
Under cross examination, Remillard said he could not be certain whether or not Figaszewski's responses could be attributed to being in a rollover accident that killed two of her children.
It was unclear whether she had been given painkillers by doctors, Reiff said.
Figaszewski told Remillard that the BMW's suspension was bad and that she could not regain control, Remillard said.
Colorado State Patrol Cpl. Christopher O'Brien testified that they didn't arrest Figaszewski on the spot.
"She would be the only caregiver for the two children who had just seen two of their siblings die," O'Brien said.
Instead, Figaszewski was arrested in Arvada near her home and transported to Eagle County, where the wreck happened on July 11.
What police say happened
Figaszewski was driving west on Interstate 70 between Avon and Edwards when she drifted off the right side of the road and hit the rumble strip, according to the State Patrol report.
When she corrected, the car traveled off the left side of the roadway and through the median for 148 feet, the report said.
The car began to spin clockwise as Figaszewski fought to regain control. She spun the steering wheel to the right, over corrected and continued to spin clockwise as it skidded another 147 feet across two lanes, according to the report.
It skidded through the grass along the side of the road for another 45 feet and through a wildlife fence 31 feet away from the road before coming to rest on its wheels. During all this, the car rolled twice, according to the report.
The children, girls ages 10 and 8, were in the right and center of the rear seat. Both were partially ejected from the vehicle and were not wearing seatbelts.
The other three vehicle occupants were wearing seatbelts and were not ejected.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.