Wrong-Way Collision That Killed Glendale Woman and Son on Loop 101 in December Looked Like "Suicide" to Witness
A Loop 101 collision in December that killed a Glendale mom and her 6-year-old son "appeared to be a suicide," according to one witness.
The witness statement and other clues that support the idea of a suicide appear in a state Department of Public Safety report reviewed today by New Times.
The report details how Patricia Evans -- dressed only in a gold bathrobe over her underwear -- drove her red Honda Accord from 51st Avenue onto the freeway exit ramp and punched the gas pedal.
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A DPS sketch shows how Patricia Evans, her two kids in the car, steered toward an oncoming vehicle.
Image: Arizona DPS
It was just after 8 p.m. on December 9, and her two young sons were in the back seats. None of them were wearing seat belts. Evans barrelled down the exit ramp against the flow of traffic, passing several stunned motorists headed the other way, says the DPS report.
The Honda Accord veered right, then cut diagonally across the the freeway lanes, still accelerating, until it rammed a black SUV head-on.
Neither vehicle left any skid marks, indicating that Evans didn't hit the brakes before the impact. Evans' other son, 4-year-old Reed, was injured severely.
Patricia Evans was an alcoholic who had been sober for about two years, her husband, Don, later told authorities. She'd started drinking again about a month prior to the crash, and the couple had been having marital problems.
In late November, she was hospitalized after she drank rubbing alcohol.
Don suspected she'd been drinking when he phoned her at about 7:20 p.m. on December 9, though she denied it, the report states. He asked her to come pick him up at a friend's house near their home. After waiting a while, he decided to walk home. At some point, he called his friend and asked to be picked up so he could go looking for Patricia.
The report doesn't clarify why Don wanted her to pick him up if he suspected she was drunk or what caused him to ask a friend to help find her. A Channel 15 (KNXV-TV) news report makes it sound like Don Evans was on foot when he spotted the wreck of his wife's car.
According to the report, Evans told DPS officers at the scene, "I knew she would do something like this."
It's unclear whether Patricia Evans was impaired by alcohol or drugs. Results of an autopsy and blood-work weren't included the report DPS released to New Times today; investigators plan to write a supplemental report when that evidence comes in.
The DPS investigation revealed that the Honda had accelerated after leaving the westbound exit ramp before striking a westbound Acura SUV head-on.
When officers first came to the scene, they found the Acura's driver, Kristen Roman, disoriented and bleeding profusely. She was 17 weeks pregnant and worried about the health of her unborn twins. Hospital officials later determined the twins hadn't been hurt.
Evans was found crumpled under the Honda's steering column, her neck and both legs broken. A faint pulse soon faded.
Both boys were still seated in the back. Little Reed Evans was crying, bleeding from the mouth and looked to have suffered a neck injury.
Six-year-old Dean, also dressed in a bathrobe, was slumped over his brother. A woman who had stopped at the scene performed CPR on the boy, but he was declared dead before 9 p.m. at St. Joseph's Hospital.
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