At first, police thought the fatal crash that took place near West Harvard Avenue and South Hazel Court had come as a result of a street race like the one that killed Regis University student Rachel Neiman within recent weeks. But family members of the victim, young mom Leann Najera, say she died pursuing men who'd stolen numerous items from her home, including her kids' game system. Photos, video and details below.
Najera's Facebook page sports a number of portraits, including this one....
...and this one.... ...and this one: In addition, the gallery contains plenty of shots featuring Najera's four kids. According to 7News, they range in age from six to twelve -- and their game system is among the items said to have prompted the chase. The station's original report about the crash notes that neighbors in the West Harvard/South Hazel Court area were awakened at around 6:15 a.m. on Saturday, December 13, by the sound of a deafening crash. Rushing outside, they discovered that a car with three women inside had struck a pair of others before coming to a halt.
Two of the women survived the impact, but Najera was pronounced dead at the scene. According to the Denver coroner's office, she died of multiple blunt-force injuries.
Before long, the street-race theory began to evaporate thanks to information from the likes of Alucio Najera, Leann's husband. He told 7News his wife and the two other women had gone to PT's Show Club on Friday night, after which some men followed them to her home. The coroner's office points out that she lived on the 2800 block of South Meade Street.
The women were talking in the kitchen with one of the men while the others were allegedly stealing numerous items from the house, including a TV and the game system, Alucio revealed.
When Leann learned what was going on, she's said to have confronted the men, who quickly fled. The women responded by jumping into a car and following. Leann was apparently dialing 911 when she lost control of her vehicle.
"It's sad," Alucio is quoted as saying. "They didn't just steal my kids' toys and TV. They stole my kids' mom."
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The thieves have not yet been identified. Look below to see the 7News piece about the crash.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.