Family of Fil-Am killed in car crash slams impaired wrong-way driver

By Florenz Legaspi, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

PHOENIX, AZ – It’s been more than a week since the tragic accident that claimed the lives of 20-year-old Filipina Ashley Adea and her boyfriend, 25-year-old Michael Ruquet.

Both were killed along Loop 202 last Sunday morning in the City of Gilbert, after a wrong-way driver, 68-year-old Patricia Murphy, rammed into their car.

Ashley’s uncle Paul Adea recounted how his brother called him that day, hysterically crying.

He said, “He told me, ‘Find your niece. Find my daughter. She’s not answering her phone.’ I immediately checked the internet for news. And I found the photo of the accident. I knew that was my niece’s car.”

Her grandparents, Zeny and Alex, are devastated. Zeny said, sobbing, “It hurts so bad. She was taken away from us so early.”

“My chest and head hurt every time I think I won’t see her again. She was so close to us,” Alex added.

Ashley’s cousin, Rheana Lacerna, said she was with the couple the night before the crash.

“We were at her friend’s house, just hanging out. But they had to go home because they had a puppy at home. That’s when they got into an accident,” she said.

Court documents showed Murphy tested positive for Benzodiazephine and Opiates and had the blood-alcohol level over two times the legal limit.

As of this broadcast, no charges have been filed.

Ashley’s aunt Sarah Copeland slammed Murphy, saying, “She made a wrong decision by drinking and taking her pills that night. The family’s very angry.”

Lacerna concluded, “No amount of justice can happen from this. We can send her away to prison for the rest of her life but that’s not going to bring Ashley back. I hope it hurts her to know that she took away two innocent lives.”

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