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Woman avoids prison time after pleading guilty in DUI crash that killed 2-year-old daughter

Posted at 4:17 PM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 18:17:31-04

GOLDEN, Colo. – A woman who pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and child abuse resulting in death charges, among others, in connection with an impaired-driving crash that killed her 2-year-old daughter, will avoid prison, a judge ruled Thursday.

Samantha Miranda Maestas, 29, was sentenced to three years of probation and three years in the Jefferson County jail’s work release program by District Court Judge Margie Enquist – though District Attorney Pete Weir and prosecutors had asked for a prison sentence.

Maestas in June pleaded guilty to three felony counts and five others in June: vehicular homicide involving DUI; child abuse resulting in death; possession of a controlled substance; DUI; careless driving resulting in injury, driving under restraint, paraphernalia possession and a traffic violation.

According to police and prosecutors, Maestas had taken hydrocodone on Aug. 10, 2018, and had been drinking and using meth in the days prior.

She was driving eastbound on Interstate 70 just west of the Genesee exit with her 2-year-old daughter, Sophia Avila, in the backseat.

Police say she tried to avoid rear-ending stopped traffic but overcorrected, crossed the median into the westbound lanes and collided with an SUV.

Avila, the young girl, died in the crash. Two people in the SUV suffered minor injuries. Police said they found “small amounts” of drugs and paraphernalia in her car.

“This is a tragedy that could have been prevented,” Weir said in a statement. “Sophia died because her mother chose to use drugs before getting behind the wheel. We asked for a prison sentence because we believe that her conduct demands it.”