John Morken Took Anti-Anxiety Pills -- Between Three and "Hundreds" -- Before Causing Crash That Killed One Kid, Injured Others, Cops Say
A 14-year-old child is dead, and two other children were injured after being ejected from a vehicle that was rear-ended on Interstate 10 on Friday by a driver hopped up on anti-anxiety pills, police say.
John Morken was driving the car that slammed into the SUV that had six occupants, and according to court documents obtained by New Times, Morken would eventually tell police that he had taken some anti-anxiety pills -- between three and "hundreds" -- before the deadly crash.
Morken was speeding west on Interstate 10, west of Phoenix, when he ran into the back of a Chevrolet Suburban traveling in the right-hand lane, which caused the Suburban to leave the highway and hit a barrier, according to the court documents.
The Suburban also rolled over several times, and four of the passengers -- all of them children -- were ejected from the vehicle. Only the driver was wearing a seat belt, although the other adult passenger remained in the vehicle throughout the crash.
A 14-year-old child was killed in the crash. The two other children who needed emergency surgery -- ages 5 and 12 -- had injuries including head trauma, internal injuries, and broken bones. The other child, an infant, sustained only minor injuries.
As everyone was being transported to hospitals, Morken was flown by helicopter, and was described in court documents as being "combatant" on the helicopter. He refused medical attention once he got to the hospital.
Meanwhile, police found a prescription-pill bottle in Morken's car, showing that the prescription had been filled with 25 anti-anxiety pills the same day of the crash. There were 11 pills remaining in the bottle, according to court documents.
Morken first told investigators that he had taken three of these pills, but then said that he took "hundreds" of them.
Court documents note that Morken had "signs of impairment consistent with narcotics."
Court documents also note that Morken has warrants for his arrest in Michigan and Kentucky, and was also driving on a suspended license.
Morken was booked into jail on charges of second-degree murder, aggravated assault, endangerment, and aggravated criminal damage. His bond was set at $100,000.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.