Woman with fibromyalgia arrested after wrong-way crash

Lana Bandoim's picture

Patricia Murphy has been arrested after an investigation involving a wrong-way crash. The Arizona woman, who suffers from fibromyalgia and lupus, has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder. Murphy caused an accident while driving the wrong way on Arizona State Route 202 that led to the deaths of two adults in another car.


Police indicate that Patricia Murphy had both drugs and alcohol in her system at the time of the collision. KPHO reports that her blood alcohol level was .180, and she had been taking her prescribed medications. The 68-year-old woman had a child with her inside her truck, and she crashed into another vehicle with two people. Both Murphy and the child were seriously injured, but the two adults in the other car, Michael Ruquet and Ashley Adea, did not survive. Ruquet and Adea were not at fault and were on the correct side of the road.


Blood tests revealed Patricia Murphy had opiates and benzodiazepine in her system, but her family has tried to explain she takes these drugs to treat her fibromyalgia and lupus. Although they played a role in the accident, police think her high blood alcohol level was a bigger issue. Murphy suffers from the typical fibromyalgia and lupus symptoms of pain, fatigue and other problems, so she relies on the drugs to provide relief.

Murphy has been labeled an impaired driver due to her drug and alcohol use. Although her family cannot give a good excuse for why her blood alcohol level was over the limit or why she was driving with her young grandson in this condition, they have tried to make people understand she was not an addict. She had prescriptions for the medications in her system and was taking them according to the instructions.

Read more about fibromyalgia:
Memantine drug shows promise for fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia study focuses on brain stimulation to fight pain