Phoenix mom thankful 3 children on the road to recovery after deadly wrong-way crash

The siblings were reportedly on their way home with their father late Saturday night in Surprise when a wrong-way driver hit their SUV head-on.
Published: Jun. 29, 2022 at 5:40 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- One look at the accident scene and witnesses knew it wasn’t good. A wrong-way crash in Surprise last weekend killed one man and sent four others to the hospital, including three children.

Gina McMillen was at Phoenix Children’s Hospital Wednesday, where her three cousins, Jovee, 13, Jude, 11 and Betty, 8, were all badly hurt but are doing better. “They’re in good spirits,” said McMillen. “They’re celebrating every little victory that they make, every day, whether it’s being able to get up, or eating or being allowed to eat candy that we send them.”

The three siblings were reportedly on their way home with their father along Grand Avenue near Jomax Road late Saturday night when a 70-year-old wrong-way driver hit their SUV head-on. The driver, who was going east in the westbound lanes, died at the scene while the three children and their dad were rushed to Valley hospitals.

Sara Avila is the children’s mother. She has spent the past five days bouncing from hospital room to hospital room to comfort her kids and boost their spirits. “We just kind of look at each other and say, well they are here, you know, they’re alive, all are alive and all fighting and struggling, but they’re alive,” said Avila.

Avila’s youngest daughter Betty appears to have suffered the worst injuries. She broke both her legs and some ribs and has a fractured jaw.

Family members know the injuries will take a while to heal, but the children should recover. “It’s just heartbreaking to know they have so much to recover from,” said McMillen. “We feel there were angels that were there to save them.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with medical expenses. If you would like to donate to the family, click/tap here.