No bond for woman who killed two children when she crashed car high on meth
Judge denies Jenny Figaszewski’s request for remain free during her appeals
EAGLE — A woman with methamphetamine in both her bloodstream and her car at the time she crashed, resulting in the deaths of two of her children, asked District Court Judge Russell Granger on Monday afternoon to be free on bond while she exhausts her appeals.
“That I cannot do,” Granger ruled in a quick, 10-minute hearing.
Jenny Figaszewski, of Arvada, originally claimed faulty suspension caused the July 14, 2016, crash on Interstate 70 that killed two of her daughters. However, her voluntary blood test afterward found more than 1,000 nanograms of methamphetamine in her bloodstream at the time of the crash, roughly the meth equivalent of a 1.8 blood alcohol level, Assistant District Attorney Heidi McCollum said.
Police on the accident scene between Edwards and Avon said they also found methamphetamine in Figaszewski’s car.
Less than a year later, Figaszewski pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, child abuse resulting in death and child abuse resulting in bodily injury. In the plea deal, she was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Before the plea deal she faced up to 40 years in prison, Judge Granger said.
McCollum argued Monday that Figaszewski is where she should be — prison.
“The two deaths were children, her own children. These were the second and third individuals Figaszewski has killed in her lifetime. Three dead bodies in your lifetime seems enough to keep someone in prison,” McCollum said, referencing a previous careless driving accident involving Figaszewski that resulted in a fatality.
Sarah Kellogg, an attorney with the Colorado Public Defenders Office appellate division, said Figaszewski has been a model of good behavior in prison. Figaszewski was asking for a bond because she has that right. Judge Granger was not persuaded.
“On a homicide case, why would I ever do this?” Granger asked.
Granger also pointed out that since Figaszewski pleaded guilty and agreed to the sentence, he did not know what might be appealed or how long it would take.
“You’re saying, ‘We’re going to appeal something, but we’re not sure what. Release her on appeal while we figure that out,’” Granger said. “That I cannot do.”
On the day of the crash in July 2016, Colorado State Patrol troopers arrived on the scene to find Figaszewski rushing around her black 1998 BMW with the blood of her dead children splattered on her clothes.
“My children are dead!” she screamed at Colorado State Patrol troopers, according to the accident report, while she frantically asked to use a cell phone.
According to the Colorado State Patrol report, Figaszewski was driving east on I-70 and was 4 miles outside of Eagle when she drifted off the right side of the road and hit the rumble strip. When she overcorrected, the car traveled off the left side of the roadway and through the median for 148 feet, according to the State Patrol report.
The car began to spin clockwise as Figaszewski fought to regain control. She spun the steering wheel to the right, again overcorrected and continued to spin clockwise as it skidded another 147 feet across two lanes.
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.
Two of her daughters, ages 14 and 9, were in the right and center of the rear seat. Both were partially ejected from the vehicle and were not wearing seatbelts.
Meth and death
During her preliminary hearing, Colorado State Patrol troopers testified that Figaszewski told them she had battled methamphetamine addiction for 30 years.
Colorado State Patrol Trooper Colin 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.”