Docs: Wrong-way driver wanted to die because of break-up

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Allen Michael Elam. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Allen Michael Elam. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Allen Michael Elam. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Allen Michael Elam. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Court documents said Elam went 10 miles on the wrong side of the freeway before crash on the I-17. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) Court documents said Elam went 10 miles on the wrong side of the freeway before crash on the I-17. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Newly released court documents said that the man who went the wrong way on the Interstate 17 for about 10 miles was upset because his girlfriend broke up with him and he wanted to die.

Allen Michael Elam was first spotted going south in the northbound lanes of the Black Canyon Freeway around 1 a.m. on Monday.

Witnesses said Elam steered toward other cars and those other drivers had to swerve in order to avoid him, court documents said. One driver slammed into a concrete barrier wall to avoid Elam, police said.

Police said he went 10 miles before he crashed into an oncoming car near Bell Road.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Impairment suspected in wrong-way crash on I-17]

Troopers said when they arrived, Elam was disoriented and his eyes were bloodshot but an alcohol breathalyzer test revealed he didn't have any alcohol in his system. Another test later revealed he didn't have any drugs in his system.

The 25-year-old was taken to the hospital where he told investigators he had been diagnosed by a psychiatrist as having schizophrenia. He said he didn't receive any treatment for it, investigators said.

Troopers said Elam also said he had dated a woman for three months but she stopped speaking to him and he thought she was cheating on him. He reportedly told the trooper, "I figure if she doesn't think I'm worth anything, then I don't think I'm worth anything."

When asked why he didn't attempt suicide in a way that wouldn't hurt other people, Elam replied that he thought he would meet someone else on the interstate that would want to die with him, troopers said. 

According to court documents, Elam also said his parents and family had been fighting and he felt if he crashed and killed himself, he would be remembered.

He reportedly posted on social media his plan to crash going the wrong way.

Elam was booked on one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of attempted second-degree murder and seven counts of endangerment.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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