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Colorado mom acquitted of criminal charges after fatal car crash

Life is unpredictable. The sooner a person can learn that lesson the better. We can't always know or plan how things will go. If so, we would all plan to be 100 percent healthy and never cause an accident. In reality, most of us won't escape this life without becoming sick or making a mistake.

A Colorado woman is living with that difficult reality, which in her case, led to the death of five people. In February 2010, the woman was driving with her two kids in her car when she caused a severe traffic accident. Five people in the other car died as a result of the crash. The incident landed the woman in the legal hot seat, facing child abuse and negligent homicide charges.

This wasn't a situation wherein the driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Yes, it was proven that she was driving at an alarmingly excessive speed, but that is enough to hold her criminally accountable for the accident. Why was she driving that fast? Why did she recklessly enter into an intersection and crash into the other vehicle?

The criminal defense in this case argued that the defendant had suffered a seizure at the time of the fatal incident, causing her to lose control of her car. That argument, however, is somewhat complicated because it potentially could have helped the prosecutors. They posed the argument that if the defendant had a history of seizures, she shouldn't have been driving.

According to the defense, the defendant's doctor never confirmed that she had suffered from a seizure in the past. Taking away the woman's driving privileges, argued the defense, would have been extreme and uncalled for. Essentially, the seizure that she supposedly experienced during the incident in question was unpredictable.

The defendant was recently found not guilty of the criminal charges before her. Now will she be able to drive or will she lose her license? According to the Epilepsy Foundation, Colorado doesn't have as strict of laws regarding seizures and driving as some other states. A driver is supposed to disclose her medical condition to the DMV, who then could turn around and contact her medical professional to determine whether she is fit to drive.

Source: ABC News, "Monica Chavez Found Not Guilty in Car Crash That Killed Family of 5, Caused by Possible Seizure," Clayton Sandell, June 16, 2012

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