Eileen Jensen Breaks Her Silence

Eileen Jensen, a local mom criminally charged with the car seat death of her baby girl in 2006, has broken her silence and spoke to KXLY to share her side of the story just days after a Spokane judge dropped the criminal case against her.

“Knowing what I know now I would never set a child in the front seat, and, knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have taken her,” Eileen Jensen said.

In 2006, Eileen Jensen pulled off the Freya exit and into a parking lot to nurse her then fussy three month old daughter, Chloe. After nursing, Jensen said she strapped Chloe into her car seat in the passenger seat so she could keep a close eye on her breathing.

Jensen said Chloe had been suffering from RSV, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, a virus affecting the lungs. Jensen said she feared Chloe could stop breathing at any moment.

Soon after she strapped Chloe in her seat, Jensen rear-ended a minivan causing the air bags in her car to deploy. The crash fractured Chloe’s skull in 12 different places.

“Oh, it was horrible, absolutely horrible,” Jensen said.

Chloe was rushed to Sacred Heart Medical Center where she stayed for six weeks before going home. 11 months later Chloe died from her injuries.

“I just sat up and had her in my arms still and she let out the most peaceful breath ever, just absolutely peaceful and that was it,” Jensen said

A few months later Jensen received a call from detectives that Chloe’s case had been reopened and she would be facing vehicular homicide charges.

“Her health was of utmost important from pregnancy on, so for me having never been in trouble before, never smoked, drank or jaywalked, I was blown away,” Jensen said.

Jensen pled not guilty to the charge soon after and was booked into jail and then released on her own recognizance.

“The officer pulled out her handcuffs and said I’m sorry I need to handcuff you. I’ve never been in handcuff before, never in trouble and I’ll never forget the sound of handcuffs ever as long as I live,” she said.

Last week, a Spokane judge dropped the case because of a lack of evidence; Jensen’s attorney’s said that she’s already suffered enough.

“So if there’s punishment, I got my punishment if there’s somebody who wants to point the finger there is nothing the City of Spokane could’ve punished me with. I know that everything happens for a reason and I know that Chloe’s life was a blessing and a miracle and I’m grateful for the 11 months that I had with her because they were moments the doctor said I would never have,” she said.

Over the past five years, Jensen said she’s learned many valuable lessons and has been able to finally forgive herself. She now has a message for other parents.

“I think if you’re child is sick, stay home I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned is that,” she said.

Jensen said she is also a car seat safety advocate, even approaching parents in parking lots when she see’s improperly installed car seats.

With the criminal case now closed, Jensen is now trying to move forward with her life. She recently enrolled in nursing school, she hopes to one day work with premature babies and sick children.

RELATED VIDEO: Raw footage of interview with Eileen Jensen