Charges dropped in crash that killed two pedestrians

By: LANCE BENZEL
February 25, 2013
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photo - Aereon Dillen, 6, far left, and Daelynn Dillen, 8, along with other friends and family gather at Picturesque and North Carefree circles in October. The boys' mother, Rebecca Robinson, and Rose Arcuragi were hit and killed by an SUV. Photo by Gazette file
Aereon Dillen, 6, far left, and Daelynn Dillen, 8, along with other friends and family gather at Picturesque and North Carefree circles in October. The boys' mother, Rebecca Robinson, and Rose Arcuragi were hit and killed by an SUV. Photo by Gazette file 

Prosecutors on Monday dismissed all counts against a Colorado Springs woman involved in an October crash that killed two pedestrians and seriously injured a 14-month-old girl in a baby stroller.

The case against Jennifer Eggleton, 40, was dismissed because of lack of evidence, said prosecutor Tanya A. Karimi.

“We didn’t have enough evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” Karimi said after the dismissal.

Karimi said a Colorado Springs police crash reconstruction team had determined that Eggleton was driving below the 40 mph speed limit during the Oct. 15 crash that killed Rose Arcurgari and Rebecca Lynn Robinson and injured Robinson’s daughter as they were crossing North Carefree Circle at Picturesque Drive.

The baby, who suffered a fractured skull, has recovered and is in the care of surviving family members.

Had the case gone to trial, there would have been testimony that the women ran into the street, another factor that led to the dismissal, Karimi said.

Eggleton had been charged with two counts of careless driving resulting in death, one count of careless driving resulting in injury and two counts of failure to yield. All charges are now dismissed.

The El Paso County District Attorney’s Office moved to toss the case in December, but the action became final on Monday morning, when El Paso County Judge Karla J. Hansen granted prosecutors’ motion.

The deaths of Robinson and Arcurgari last year came amid a string of traffic fatalities involving pedestrians in Colorado Springs.

Family members of the victims have criticized police and prosecutors for their handling of the case, saying Eggleton should be held accountable for inattention.

“I know that putting her in prison would do nothing to bring my daughter back. But to turn around and to say she did nothing wrong? That’s just wrong,” Robinson’s father, Robert Dillen, told The Gazette. Dillen is employed by the newspaper as a mechanic in the newspaper’s press room.

At a meeting in December, Dillen said prosecutors told him they wouldn’t be able to disprove Eggleton’s claim she was blinded by the sun — leading him to counter that if she was blinded, she should have slowed.

Danielle Christensen, Arcurgari’s daughter, called the dismissal a “serious injustice” that sends the wrong message about inattentive driving.

“What does that teach somebody? That you say, ‘The sun was in my eyes,’ and they let you off?”

“How is that fair, and where is the justice for us?”

Although the intersection has no marked crosswalk, Colorado Springs police said the area is legally considered a crosswalk because it is an intersection and that drivers should be watching for pedestrians at all intersections.

Relatives of both women who died filed notices they intend to sue. One claim, filed by Christensen, led to an out-of-court settlement with Eggleton’s insurance provider. The status of the second lawsuit wasn’t immediately clear.

Contact Lance Benzel: 636-0366 Twitter @lancebenzel

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