Pinal County Sheriff Lamb’s son laid to rest along with fiancée and their daughter

The family was driving near Elliot Road and Cole Drive when their car was hit by a suspected DUI driver while trying to make a left turn.
Published: Dec. 30, 2022 at 4:26 PM MST
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SAN TAN VALLEY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Funeral services were held for 22-year-old Cooper Lamb, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb’s son, his fiancée Caroline Patten and their 11-month-old daughter Friday in San Tan Valley.

Patten was driving near Elliot Road and Cole Drive, just west of Recker Road, around 3:45 p.m. when her car was hit by a suspected DUI driver while trying to make a left turn. Sheriff Lamb’s son Cooper and granddaughter died at the scene. Police arrested 21-year-old Brian Torres at the scene. Torres was not injured in the crash. At last check, investigators were still waiting for Torres’ BAC lab analysis results.

“He was very witty, very quick,” said Janel Lamb, Cooper’s mom. She says the community’s support and messages of hope and love have helped her in grieving. “Our children lived with us so there toys are in our house, two thirds of the Christmas presents under the tree were there’s. We had to clean their room out so it’s not been easy,” said Sheriff Lamb when asked about how the past two weeks have been for him and his family.

The young family of three was involved in a t-bone crash near the intersection of Elliot and Recker Roads on Dec. 16 after Patten turned in front of another driver. Despite driving the speed limit, Torres was arrested by Gilbert police on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Sheriff Lamb says their hearts are full of forgiveness. “We’re not angry. This is an accident. Our son went through something similar and we don’t feel any anger or resentment and we want to let you know we forgive you and know our kids are in a better place,” he said.

Instead, Lamb and his wife say they want to remember their son and his fiancée for the struggles they overcame. “I think our son is a fighter. He and Caroline both struggled from addiction and fought through it. They went through the quicksand, which is the judicial system and they got out took a deep breath and this happened,” Lamb said.

Patten’s immediate family did not speak publicly but spoke at the service explaining the kind of person she was and the title she was most proud of, Mom. “One thing is for sure, Cooper and Caroline loved each other and they adored their daughter. This may be one of the hardest things to accept, but the peace is knowing they’re together,” said one family member.