NewsCovering Colorado


Man killed in Highway 83 crash was on his way to a family funeral

He was one of two people killed by a driver running from police
Posted at 11:40 PM, Nov 08, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS — One of the people killed by a driver fleeing police on Highway 83 last Thursday was traveling with his family to Denver International Airport to attend a funeral when the crash occurred.

People say lightning never hits the same place twice, but for Jenny Esparza, it sure feels like her family keeps getting struck.

“It really did hit us hard the past month,” Esparza said.

Her aunt still doesn’t know that her husband, a beloved grandfather, and Jenny’s uncle, is dead.

“When she wakes up it’s just gonna be reliving everything over and over again,” Esparza said.

He died after a driver fleeing police in a stolen bus crashed into his family’s car on Highway 83 Thursday morning.

“They were hit head-on,” Esparza said. “My uncle actually took his granddaughter out of the car right after… he loved his grandchildren with all his heart.”

Two of her cousins in that car have been in and out of surgery, with a long recovery ahead.

“My aunt is actually the one who is doing really bad,” she said. “Because of the injuries that she suffered, she had a stroke.”

Esparza, a Colorado Springs resident, was not in Colorado when News 5 talked to her Sunday.

“I’m in California at the moment,” she said. “My cousin, she lives here in California, and she just had a loss of her baby during childbirth.”

The baby’s funeral was set for last Friday.

“Thursday morning [my family] was on their way to the airport to come over here for the funeral,” Esparza said.

Of course, they never made it to the funeral.

Who could have predicted the odds?

“We thought we were just coming here to support one loss… and we had a bigger loss,” she said.

Who could have predicted the grief; the rage?

“He took somebody who was just so important to all of us,” she said. “As you can imagine, very angry.”

And who could have predicted the selfishness that led here?

“Hopefully people out there… you know they’ll think more,” Esparza said. “When they’re thinking they’re not going to hurt anybody else, they can hurt an entire family like this man hurt us.”

They say lightning never strikes the same place twice--but it sure feels like tragedy can.

“Yeah, it doesn’t stop,” she said.

Esparaza said her family still has a long road ahead. with multiple family members too injured to work, and medical bills only beginning to stack up, they’re taking all the help, love, and prayers people can offer.