A California woman has admitted to intentionally driving into incoming traffic on a busy freeway in a failed suicide attempt, causing a fatal crash that killed a young father on his way to a promising career as a doctor.
According to KRCR, Grace Elizabeth Ward, 28, accelerated into traffic on Interstate-5 in Redding, California, on January 7, leading to a fatal head-on collision with a car being driven by Ryan Folsom, 29.
Folsom left behind his pregnant wife and their two sons, ages two and four. His wife was reportedly expected to give birth to their third child within a month of the tragic accident.
KRCR obtained a report by the California Highway Patrol that said Ward admitted to investigators that she was trying to kill herself when she drove into oncoming traffic on the freeway. According to the report, Ward first drove into a median and waited there for just over seven minutes before accelerating into traffic on the southbound lane, driving in the opposite direction.
The driven then narrowly escaped crashing into three other vehicles, according to the report, before she hit Folsom’s car, sending it into a ditch.
Officers who arrived to the scene found Ward’s cell phone, which she had used just before the crash to call her mother and tell her of her plans to kill herself. Ward reportedly told investigators that she accelerated into traffic just after ending the call with her mother.
Ward, seen in court photographs in a wheelchair, suffered a broken leg in the crash. Folsom died at Mercy Medical Center.
The crash victim had reportedly been on his way to interview for a medical residency when he was killed.
A friend of the family, Ian Cropper, told KRCR that Folsom was on his way to achieving his dreams and had a promising future ahead.
“Just a quality person, evidence of that is how he wanted to be a doctor. He, in every capacity, wanted to be a force for good for people, so whether that was in the capacity of being a doctor or a husband, those were things that really made him excited,” Cropper said.
A GoFundMe campaign set up for the family raised over $300,000 to help support the now-widowed mother before the crowdfunding campaign was closed.
Ward is facing multiple charges, including murder, attempted murder, and vandalism.
[Feature image: GoFundMe/Folsom family]