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Woman sentenced to prison in Broomfield crash that killed two

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Dusti Arensdorf had a blood alcohol level of .343, the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said.

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — A woman who admitted to driving drunk and plowing into a broken-down car, killing two family members, was sentenced to more than two decades in prison.

Dusti Arensdorf, 43, pleaded guilty in April to two counts of vehicular homicide – DUI, and one count of vehicular assault – DUI in relation to the crash that killed 71-year-old Shuangyue Chen and his daughter-in-law, Yajing Liu, 35.

The crash occurred around 10:15 p.m. on Oct. 6 of last year on Interstate 25 between 144th Avenue and Highway 7 in Broomfield.

Chen and his son, Liu’s husband, were on the shoulder of the highway outside of their vehicle changing a flat tire when the crash happened. Chen was hit and killed. Liu was inside the vehicle with her 3-year-old son when the crash happened. She was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene, the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office said.

Liu’s husband and son were seriously injured in the crash, but survived, the DA’s office said.

Witnesses said Arensdorf was driving erratically and aggressively, weaving in and out of traffic at over 100 mph, moments before the crash.

When she was pulled from her vehicle, witnesses said Arensdorf’s breath smelled of alcohol. She admitted to investigators that she had “a couple of hard seltzers that night,” the DA’s office said.

Arensdorf’s blood was drawn at a hospital after the crash and her blood alcohol level came back as being .343, more than four times the legal limit.

“The defendant’s choices to drink and drive have completely destroyed an innocent family,” District Attorney Brian Mason said. “This was a horrific, unspeakable crime – and it was a horrific crime scene, that no one should have to see. A mother and a grandfather were taken from a small child as a result of the egregious actions of this defendant. Let this serve as another horrifying example of the dangers of drunk driving. It’s imperative that we strengthen our vehicular homicide laws and increase the penalty for those who drink and drive and, in the process, kill other human beings, as happened here. My sincere, heartfelt condolences go out to the family of these innocent victims.” 

“This senseless tragedy took an emotional toll on everyone involved, including the first responders who helped assess and investigate the crash scene,” Broomfield Chief of Police Enea Hempelmann said.

Arensdorf had three prior DUI convictions. A judge sentenced her on May 31 to 24 years in prison followed by three years of parole.

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Woman sentenced to prison in Broomfield crash that killed two

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