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Victim's family has questions after teen charged in deadly Commerce City crash

Commerce City Police believe the teenage driver hit another car, killing two women including 56-year-old Monica Rios.

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — A teen driver faces charges after a deadly crash in Commerce City. It happened in September near Highway 2 and 72nd Avenue. Police believe the teenage driver hit another car, killing two women including 56-year-old Monica Rios. 

"Its been really hard," Monica Rios' brother Frank Rios Jr. said. "She had a big heart. She was always there for her friends and her family getting up in the middle of the night to give someone a ride home, she had a big heart." 

In September, Rios was a passenger in a car headed down Highway 2 in Commerce City. They were turning left onto 72nd Avenue when another driver headed southbound crashed into them. Rios and the driver of her car died. Police said the other driver was speeding. He was 17 years old at the time. 

Credit: Rios family

"I hope this kid realizes what he's done and what he's taken from this world," Rios Jr. said. 

That teen has now been charged. The 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office told 9NEWS he faces two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of vehicular assault and is not being charged as an adult because the charges aren't serious enough. 

"Because this kid's 17, you know, he possibly will get away with it," Rios Jr. said. "I don't know what the DA needs for this kid to be tried as an adult. I mean when you take a life, that should be it right there." 

The DA's office said because his charges are class 4 and 5 felonies, they don't immediately go to adult court. That only happens for class 1 or class 2 felonies. They did say there are possible ways for a case to be transferred, but it must start in juvenile court. 

Credit: Rios family

Rios Jr. hopes the DA considers moving the case to adult court. 

"What I ultimately want is justice to be served," he said.  "I really hope the DA would take into consideration what we lost. We didn’t get out on that street and drive fast — my sister was innocent." 

Vanessa Rios, Monica's niece, shared a statement about the charges. She said, "We know this won't bring my Nina back, but we think he should be charged as an adult. He knows wrong from right. His decisions that night could have been avoided if he went the speed limit, but he chose the route he did and two people died." 

"The hardest thing is when the babies ask for Nina and explaining to them she is with Grandma in heaven. We want justice for my Nina. He didn't care about human life that night but she will forever live on," the statement continued. 

The Rios family said Monica's birthday is this Saturday. They are planning a balloon release in her memory. 

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