Woman accused in crash that killed 10-year-old son admitted drinking alcohol, affidavit says

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Posted at 2:59 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 18:53:07-04

BRIGHTON, Colo. — A woman accused of killing her 10-year-old son in a drunk driving crash Saturday admitted to police that she drank alcohol in the hours leading up to the crash and police found a can of alcohol in her vehicle, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Brighton police say 27-year-old Karena Cecil was under the influence and lost control of her car while driving east on I-76 near Bromney Lane about 7:20 p.m. The car landed in the westbound lanes of traffic.

Cecil faces charges of vehicular homicide — driving under the influence, child abuse resulting in death and child abuse resulting in injury.

The affidavit said Cecil told police that she drank four hours prior to the crash. Police found a can of Mike's Hard Lemonade in the front passenger floorboard of her car.

Cecil's 10-year-old son, identified by his school district 27J Schools as Gavin Cecil, died at the hospital. Medics treated the unidentified man and Gavin's sibling for minor injuries.

RELATED: 10-year-old Brighton boy killed in DUI crash remembered as 'beautiful soul'

Sgt. Portillo says the deadly crash caused a ripple effect, not only impacting the victim's family and their community but even the first responders who arrived at the scene.

"Any time we handle a crash or any sort of incident where a child's involved, it's a tragedy," he said.

Fran Lanzer, executive director of the Colorado chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, called the situation "heartbreaking."

"It's basically a life sentence, having their loved one taken from them," he said. "I know this is an alleged case, but having some responsibility for that ... I don't know personally how I would live with it."

Tragedies like these are 100% preventable, he says.

"We don't need to do a lot of research. We don't need to find a cure. We already have it. And that's everybody planning ahead, doing their part to keeping them, keeping themselves, keeping their loved ones and keeping our communities safe," Lanzer said. "Ride-share like Lyft or Uber, taxis, buses, light rail ... there are so many different options. There's really no excuse for ever getting behind the wheel impaired."