Driver arrested in deadly wrong-way collision

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

GILBERT, Ariz. -- The driver in a deadly wrong-way crash self-surrendered to detectives from the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Patricia Murphy, age 68, is facing two counts of second-degree murder as well as other charges.

Murphy drove a pickup truck in the wrong direction on the San Tan 202, according to DPS.

At the time, Murphy had a 9-year-old child in the vehicle with her.

She collided head-on with another vehicle driven by a couple from Mesa, Michael Ruquet, 25, and Ashley Adea, 20. Detectives believe that at the time, Murphy was under the influence of alcohol and prescription medication.

According to a police report, Murphy had a blood alcohol level of .180. That is more than twice the legal limit. Murphy also took prescription medications for pain and to help her sleep. Her family told detectives that she suffers from fibromyalgia and lupus.

The collision, which occurred between Higley and Ray roads in Gilbert, killed Ruquet and Adea.

The child was transported from the scene to a nearby hospital with serious injuries. Murphy sustained injuries as well, requiring a substantial recovery period.

In addition to the two counts of second-degree murder, Murphy was booked on charges of aggravated assault, 11 counts of endangerment, child abuse, two counts of possession of narcotics and criminal damage.

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