A man from Colorado Springs has been sentenced to 21 years in prison following his arrest two years ago for reckless driving. His reckless actions led to the tragic death of a 3-year-old child from Breckenridge and caused injuries to others.
In court documents, it is revealed that Juan Huante-Juarez, 39, was sentenced by Judge Amanda Hunter in Park County court last month. He was charged with reckless child abuse resulting in death, which is classified as a Class 2 felony.
Huante-Juarez entered a guilty plea on November 6, according to court documents. As part of the plea agreement, the 11th Judicial District Attorney’s Office agreed to drop several charges, including murder extreme indifference, first degree assault with extreme indifference, reckless driving resulting in vehicular homicide, and reckless vehicular assault, as outlined in the court documents.
According to a court affidavit, the fatal crash took place on Colorado Highway 9 near mile marker 72 in Park County, about a mile north of Alma, around 5:30 p.m. on November 9, 2021.
According to the traffic crash report by the Colorado State Patrol, the driver of the Honda sustained serious injuries, while the 5-year-old passenger had moderate injuries, and the 10-month-old remained uninjured. Huante-Juarez, on the other hand, suffered serious injuries, while his passenger had minor injuries.
According to court documents, during the investigation, a Colorado State Trooper discovered that Huante-Juarez started to pass eight or nine vehicles legally over a single-dashed yellow line, approximately one mile north of the crash.
According to court documents, a driver who was passed by Huante-Juarez reported to state patrol that Huante-Juarez was driving between 70-75 mph and passing vehicles in a dangerous manner. The driver stated that Huante-Juarez dipped into the left lane to pass three or four vehicles, followed by passing four or five more. It is worth noting that the speed limit in the area was reportedly 55 mph.
According to another witness who saw the incident involving Huante-Juarez, they stated that the driver was fully in control of the truck. They mentioned that the truck was traveling at approximately 70 mph while overtaking another vehicle before the collision occurred with the Honda Pilot.
According to court documents, a third witness stated that Huante-Juarez “flew” past him, despite having enough space to move back into the right lane. Instead, the truck chose to pass another vehicle and collided with the Honda Pilot as it reached the top of the hill.
According to court documents, the witness informed the police that the white truck was solely responsible for the incident and displayed complete recklessness, endangering numerous lives. The state trooper, in his account, confidently asserted that the Chevrolet Silverado engaged in illegal passing for a distance of 900 feet, equivalent to approximately 8 or 9 seconds of travel in the opposing lane.
According to court documents, the passenger of Huante-Juarez revealed to law enforcement that they had departed from Breckenridge at around 5 p.m. They mentioned that they travel multiple times a week between their workplace in Summit County and their residences in Colorado Springs.
According to court documents, Huante-Juarez admitted to feeling drowsy and even falling asleep for about half a minute prior to the accident. However, the state trooper expressed doubt about the veracity of Huante-Juarez’s statement, suggesting that he was intentionally trying to deceive. The trooper pointed out that the vehicle’s Event Data Recorder indicated a 100% throttle input from the driver right before the crash, implying that Huante-Juarez was actively engaged in driving at that moment.
According to court documents, the Event Data Recorder of the Silverado revealed that the driver was going at a speed of 78 mph merely 4 seconds before the accident. However, the driver managed to apply the brakes and reduce the speed to around 40 mph right before colliding with the Honda. On the other hand, the Honda was traveling at a speed of 55 mph approximately 5 seconds before the collision.
According to court documents, Huante-Juarez was driving with a learner’s permit at the time of the collision. It was also revealed that his passenger did not possess a driver’s license.
As part of Huante-Juarez’s plea deal, the District Attorney’s Office has also agreed to dismiss two counts of reckless child abuse, which are Class 1 misdemeanors. Additionally, they will dismiss the charges of reckless third-degree assault causing injury, also a Class 1 misdemeanor, reckless endangerment, a Class 3 misdemeanor, and various traffic infractions, according to documents.
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