Family struggles with son's death as woman pleads guilty in fatal Littleton crash

Deanna Bixby, 21, will be sentenced to 20 years in prison

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The woman who killed a young couple in a car crash while fleeing police in Littleton in 2019 pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide on Feb. 13.

Deanna Bixby, 21, was one of two drivers fleeing police in stolen cars on Feb. 6, 2019, police said. Bixby crashed into a car at Mineral Avenue and Santa Fe Drive going about 100 mph, killing Ryan Carter and Jayne Davicsin.

Bixby pleaded guilty on Feb. 13 to two counts of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a felony. In exchange for the guilty pleas, prosecutors dropped numerous other charges, including vehicular eluding resulting in death.

Under the terms of the plea deal, Bixby will serve 20 years in prison, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office. The office declined to comment on the case until the sentence is made official in April.

The families of Bixby's victims, however, are serving life sentences of a different sort.

“We no longer have a son,” said Rod Carter, whose son Ryan, 27, was killed in the crash. “We won't have a daughter-in-law. We won't have grandkids. The Carter name has ended. It's a complete loss for us.”

Rod said he still cries regularly when he thinks of his only child.

“All our plans changed,” Rod said. “Without a son to be responsible for our finances when we're old, or just help out around the house, it's all thrown away.”

Rod's wife Tracy said Ryan's death took away a “reason to move forward.”

“Who will help us in old age?” Tracy said. “Who will help me with my phone?”

Tracy said she tries to stay busy at work or at the gym to keep from thinking about it.

“I don't feel like this plea deal is justice, but I don't know how you make it fair. (Bixby) will get to start over, but our son doesn't get to.”

Jayne Davicsin's family could not be reached for comment. The driver of the other car, Mario Jose, was sentenced to three years in prison for vehicular eluding in October.

Both Rod and Tracy said they are still upset with Douglas County deputies' decision to engage in a high-speed chase with Bixby and the other driver. The chase started near Castle Pines.

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said in 2019 that deputies chased Bixby and the other driver after they fled a traffic stop.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office allows deputies to chase fleeing vehicles believed to be stolen, at odds with other chase policies in the Denver metro area.

A spokesman for the department said in 2019 that Spurlock stood by the policy.

“(Spurlock) feels that our pursuit policy is well written and does not feel that changes are needed at this time,” department spokesman Sgt. Jeff Miller said last year.

Tracy said she is heartened to know that people remember her son. She said she spotted a new memorial cross placed at the intersection where Ryan died, and his coworkers at King Soopers sent them a bouquet of flowers on the anniversary of his death.

The Carters have arranged for a memorial bench dedicated to their son to be installed at Ridgeview Park, just down the street from their south Littleton home.

The location is fitting, Rod said.

“It's where Ryan used to go fishing, sledding, riding his skateboard,” Rod said. “I remember him running around on Easter egg hunts there.”

Tracy said she looks forward to getting the bench installed.

“We'll have a place to reflect.”

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