Mother admits to vehicular homicide in crash that killed two of her girls
February 12, 2018
EAGLE — Jenny Figaszewski rushed around her crashed black 1998 BMW, the blood of her dead children splattered on her clothes.
"My children are dead!" she screamed at Colorado State Patrol troopers after the 2016 accident, as she frantically asked to use a cell phone.
Police on the scene said they found methamphetamine in Figaszewski's car, and that substance turned up in a blood sample she voluntarily provided later at Vail Health hospital. Figaszewski claimed faulty suspension caused the crash.
Figaszewski, of Aurora, was much more measured during a hearing the afternoon of Monday, Feb. 12, when she pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, child abuse resulting in death and child abuse resulting in bodily injury in the crash that killed two of her children.
With the plea deal, she'll spend 16 years in prison. Before the plea deal she faced up to 40 years in prison. Official sentencing is set for 10 a.m., Monday, May 7, before District Court Judge Russell Granger.
Assistant District Attorney Heidi McCollum is prosecuting the case.
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What police say
Figaszewski was driving west on Interstate 70 on July 14, 2016, between Avon and Edwards, when she drifted off the right side of the road and hit the rumble strip.
When she corrected, the car traveled off the left side of the roadway and through the median for 148 feet, the State Patrol 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 the vehicle skidded another 147 feet across two lanes.
The car 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.
Two 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 seat belts.
The other three vehicle occupants were wearing seat belts, and were not ejected.
Meth and death
Colorado State Patrol troopers testified during the preliminary hearing that Figaszewski told them she had battled methamphetamine for 30 years.
When 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."
During that preliminary hearing, Chief Public Defender Thea 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 Figaszewski's responses could be attributed to being in a deadly rollover accident.
It was also unclear whether she had been given painkillers by doctors, Reiff said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.