By Jeff Todd
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Jessica Holman’s brother thinks every day about what would have happened if he got in the car with her to help her pick up dinner for their family.
“That thought has ripped me up inside really,” Jacobe Holman said. “Had I decided to go with her maybe we would have missed this incident. Had I gone with her, maybe I was putting myself and my children in harm’s way.”
He now wants people to learn from the tragedy their family has been through, and spread love.
“This is a tragic reminder that we always need to part on good ways. Tell each other we love each other because you don’t know when the last time is. You absolutely don’t.”
Jessica left alone to go pick up dinner on March 8, 2016. She was headed southbound in normal evening traffic on Wadsworth between Independence Drive and 94th Avenue in Westminster.
She didn’t know police were chasing a massive, stolen, F-350 truck which was pulling a trailer with two ATV’s on it. Patrick Engle was behind the wheel and trying to elude the police, he drove into the wrong way of traffic hoping the police would stop following him. The F-350 slammed head-on into Jessica’s car.
“None of all of this is going to bring Jessica back. We love her, we miss her, and we’re going to miss her the rest of our lives,” her father Mark Holman said outside a Jefferson County courtroom.
The Holman’s were eager to leave the courthouse for the last time related to Jessica’s case. On Thursday Engle was sentenced to 96 years in prison for vehicular homicide and several other counts. He’s the fifth person to be sentenced related to Jessica’s death.
Patrick Engle started committing crimes when he was 12 years old, he’s now 30 and “not a fit to live in society.” Engle has 10 felony cases on his record and has repeatedly been given drug rehabilitation instead of harsh sentences.
The judge who oversaw the Holman trial and sentencing had seen Engle before. He, too, had given Engle drug rehab instead of prison. Thursday, the judge didn’t hide his disappointment in Engle’s constant and habitual offenses. He sentenced him to 96 years in prison.
The judge said “Nothing the justice system has done has worked. Rehabilitation is zero. For the safety of the community you have to be locked up.”
Engle did not address the court at sentencing, when the judge said he will likely die in jail, Engle’s family members wept.
“I agreed with the judge. I didn’t see how there was anything that was going to change this guy,” said Mark Holman.
“So much loss. There are no winners here. Everybody lost,” said Jessica’s mother Terry Holman. ” I’m glad he’s no longer a threat to the state of Colorado.”
Ignacio Daigle was the passenger in the truck. Earlier this year, he was sentenced to nine years in prison. Daigle’s mother and grandmother are also in prison for harboring a fugitive. They hid Daigle from police after the deadly crash.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.