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Pastor: Driver Doesn’t Remember Fatal Crash, Vigil Held For Victims

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THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4/AP) - The pastor of a driver accused of killing a family of five in Thornton says she has no memory of the event.

Westside Christian Fellowship pastor Mark Lopez told The Denver Post that Monica Ann Chavez apparently had “some type of seizure” and lost consciousness. He says she doesn’t remember the accident.

Chavez’s mother, Gloria Barela, also says her granddaughter was on the phone with her father at the time of the crash. The granddaughter told her father that Chavez wasn’t acting right and that she had gone stiff. That was just before the accident.

chavez monica Pastor: Driver Doesnt Remember Fatal Crash, Vigil Held For Victims

Monica Chavez (credit: Adams Co. Sheriff's Office)

Toxicology and other tests are still pending. Barela said she asked her daughter if she had taken drugs or had been drinking.

“She said, ‘No I wasn’t mom.’ ‘You cant remember anything, Monica?’ She says, ‘I can’t remember mom,'” Barela said. “Monica would not jeopardize here children and driving like that.”

The accident Thursday killed Randy and Crystal Stollsteimer and their three children, ages 7, 9 and 12. Authorities say Chavez’s SUV was going at a high rate of speed when it crossed into oncoming traffic, struck a sedan, went airborne and crashed into Stollsteimers’ pickup.

Thornton police spokesman Matt Barnes said Sunday that Chavez, of Denver, is now out of the hospital. Her two children, ages 5 and 10, are also home from the hospital.

stollsteimer family Pastor: Driver Doesnt Remember Fatal Crash, Vigil Held For Victims

The Stollsteimer family (credit: Facebook)

On Saturday evening hundreds attended a candlelight vigil held for the Stollsteimers.

“The candles represent our love and support for the family hoping and knowing they in Heaven and together,” said Karen Allen, who drove the Stollsteimers’ children’s school bus.

The family is still trying to figure out funeral arrangements. They said they are waiting for all the facts and are not passing judgment.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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