Durango mother who caused fatal crash pleads guilty

Woman had five kids in minivan when it hit slick spot

Colorado State Patrol investigates the scene of a head-on crash April 18, 2016, on La Plata Highway (Colorado Highway 140). Neysha Candelaria, the driver of a minivan, pleaded guilty Thursday to careless driving causing injury and careless driving resulting in death. Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file

Colorado State Patrol investigates the scene of a head-on crash April 18, 2016, on La Plata Highway (Colorado Highway 140). Neysha Candelaria, the driver of a minivan, pleaded guilty Thursday to careless driving causing injury and careless driving resulting in death.

A Durango woman who caused a head-on crash that killed her 8-year-old daughter pleaded guilty Thursday to careless driving causing injury and careless driving resulting in death.

Neysha Candelaria, 33, faces probation to one year in prison for each count after signing a plea agreement with the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Sentencing is set for July 20 before District Judge Suzanne Carlson.

Candelaria was driving a 2005 blue Chevrolet Uplander north on La Plata Highway (Colorado Highway 140) just before 8:30 a.m. April 18, 2016, when she hit a patch of snow and ice, crossed the center line and collided head-on with a 2009 Kia Sorento, according to the Colorado State Patrol.

She had five children in the car – ages 1, 5, 7, 8 and 9 – none of whom appeared to have proper restraints, according to the State Patrol.

At least three children were thrown from the vehicle, including Mia Martinez, who died at the scene, 1.6 miles north of the New Mexico state line.

The driver of the Kia, Mindy Walck, 38 at the time, of Hesperus, was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center.

shane@durangoherald.com

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Mia Martinez Enlarge photo

Mia Martinez

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