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Road trip got deadly when mom did 'rock of meth' — and kids weren't buckled in, cops say

Jenny Figaszewski, a mother from Eagle County, Colorado, was sentenced to 16 years in prison after police say she got high on a "rock of meth" — and crashed while on a road trip with her kids from California to her home state. Police say the children didn't wear seat belts.
Jenny Figaszewski, a mother from Eagle County, Colorado, was sentenced to 16 years in prison after police say she got high on a "rock of meth" — and crashed while on a road trip with her kids from California to her home state. Police say the children didn't wear seat belts. Eagle County District Attorney's Office

Jenny Figaszewski was driving with four of her children from California to Colorado, police say, when she swayed into a rumble strip.

The mother swerved through a median on Interstate 70 in Eagle County, spun across two other lanes and barreled through a wildlife fence — while flipping over twice in the process, according to a police report obtained by the Vail Daily. None of the children had seat belts on, police say, and Figaszewski's 9-year-old and 14-year-old daughters were partially ejected and died during the chaotic crash in July 2016.

"My children are dead!" she screamed after the crash, according to the Vail Daily. The newspaper reported that the mother, who was injured in the crash, had blood splashed across her clothes.

Figaszewski later confessed to officers that she had swallowed "a rock of meth" while passing through Nevada, according to the Colorado Fifth Judicial District Attorney's Office. Officers allegedly found 22 cellphones and 11 grams of meth in her car.

Her two other children were "seriously" injured but survived.

The 46-year-old woman pleaded guilty in February to vehicular homicide-DUI and child abuse resulting in death, The Associated Press reported. She accepted those felony charges as part of a plea deal.

She originally faced up to 40 years before accepting the deal, according to the Vail Daily.

On Monday, a judge sentenced Figaszewski to 16 years in prison and another year in the county jail, the district attorney's office wrote.

Those sentences are served concurrently.

KDVR reported that in 2017, there were 642 people in Colorado who died while driving on a highway — and that 241 of those involved someone driving under the influence. That means over a third of all the state's highway deaths are attributed to drugs or alcohol.

That's why Heidi McCollum, assistant district attorney, said the tragic death of Figaszewski's two children highlights a pressing danger in society.

“This is a terrible tragedy that never should have occurred,” she said. “We remember and mourn the loss of these two innocents today, and are reminded of the horrific consequences drug use can inflict.”

Learn about the brain reward system and the biochemical processes that occur during methamphetamine use.

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