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Farmington woman pleads guilty to vehicular homicide

Yolanda Griswold faces 2 years in prison
Griswold

A Farmington woman involved in a high-speed crash that killed a Fort Lewis College student pleaded guilty Thursday to vehicular homicide and two counts of careless driving causing serious bodily injury.

Yolanda Griswold, 36, choked back tears as she said “guilty” and answered routine questions from 6th District Judge William Herringer.

She faces up to two years in prison after signing a plea agreement with the District Attorney’s Office. Sentencing is set for 2 p.m. April 28.

The crash occurred at 5:48 p.m. Dec. 11, 2015, on U.S. Highway 550, just south of Bondad Hill.

According to data recorded in the vehicles, Griswold was driving a 2007 GMC Denali at 88 mph 2.5 seconds before she rear-ended a 2013 Ford Focus that was traveling north at 48.9 mph in a 60 mph zone.

The Ford Focus was driven by Aztec resident Jennifer Powers, who was on her way to Fort Lewis College to assist in a theatrical production.

The rear-end impact caused Powers to lose control of her car, which rotated counter-clockwise and went into the southbound lane, striking head-on a southbound Ford F-150.

Powers, 35, was killed in the crash. A passenger, Dawson Powers, sustained a wrist and ankle fracture. A passenger in the F-150 sustained a fractured sternum among other injuries.

According to an arrest affidavit, a witness who was driving about 75 mph said Griswold “was driving like an idiot” and “went flying past” him moments before the crash.

shane@durangoherald.com

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