Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Epilepsy and driving

A Savage man admitted in court Monday, July 23, that he shouldn't have been driving the night he had a seizure in early December 2016 and ran head-on into another vehicle on Interstate 494, leaving three dead, including a toddler.

Patrick Hayes made the admission in Hennepin County District Court when he pleaded guilty to five counts for causing the fatal wrong-way crash, authorities say…

During his guilty plea, Hayes admitted that there had been a change in his epilepsy medication while he was still living in Texas that made him more prone to seizures, the attorney's office said. His medication was changed a second time when he moved to Minnesota, increasing his chances for a seizure even more. That made his decision to drive the evening of Dec. 2, 2016, "grossly negligent," according to the attorney's office.

Hayes wound up having a seizure behind the wheel and blacking out, so he doesn't remember the crash, according to his testimony in court Monday, the attorney's office said.

He was driving his tan Chevy Malibu westbound on I-494 in Bloomington near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport when he suddenly pulled over to the right shoulder, made a U-turn, and started heading eastbound in the west lane just east of the 24th Avenue exit.

He eventually collided head-one with a blue Jeep Cherokee. Payton Bailey, 2, was among the passengers in the Jeep. The toddler died about a week after the crash. His mother, Dylan Bailey, and grandmother, Dawn Chiodo, were also in the vehicle, the attorney's office reported. Both died the night of the wreck.

The family members had just left the airport, where they'd picked up Olivia and Jennifer Nord…
Hayes was observed suffering a seizure at the scene of the crash and was given anti-seizure medication, court documents say. A blood test revealed no alcohol in his system at the time. 

He'd failed to disclose his condition when he applied for Minnesota driver's licences during the past five years — a requirement under state law, according to court documents.

A review of Hayes' medical records indicates he has suffered from epilepsy since he was 16 years old. Investigators also discovered that Hayes had been involved in three previous crashes since 2014, at least one of which involved a seizure, court documents say.



  1. A Twin Cities man concealed his history of epileptic seizures from state authorities and kept driving despite the risk until he caused a head-on crash that killed three members of a Bloomington family, according to felony charges.

    Patrick J. Hayes, 35, of Savage, was charged Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court with five counts of criminal vehicular homicide or operation stemming from the Dec. 2, 2016, crash on Interstate 494 near Hwy. 5 in Bloomington. Hayes was driving on the wrong side of the interstate.

    Killed were 2-year-old Payton Bailey, his mother, Dylan Bailey, 24, and his grandmother, Dawn Chiodo, 51.

    They were returning from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after picking up Olivia Nord, of Richfield, who had just graduated from U.S. Marine boot camp in South Carolina. They were driving to a surprise party to celebrate Nord becoming a Marine, but they never made it.

    Nord, 19, and Nord’s mother, Jennifer Nord, 50, also of Richfield, survived their injuries. The death toll easily could have gone to four if Olivia Nord had not overcome “a life-threatening aortic injury from which most patients do not survive,” the criminal complaint read, citing her medical records.


  2. A Mankato couple was sitting on their porch just before dinner a week ago on Friday night, Jan. 26, when a black pickup truck came hurtling toward their home and crashed into the side of the house.

    The truck, having come from down Pine Street, rebounded from the side of Melisa and Jared Morisset's corner lot home on Second Avenue and spun in the home's backyard before coming to a halt in their neighbor’s yard.

    "Everyone’s safe, and at least he hit our house instead of driving down a highway and taking out multiple families or people in cars,” said Melisa Morisset. “So you know it's a blessing in disguise. It could have gone a bunch of ways. My kids could be dead right now.”

    Glass from the kitchen windows was strewn across their home, the foundation of the house was damaged, and sheetrock was cracked in almost every room of the house from the impact of the truck.

    Their playhouse and fence in the backyard, and their washing machine, dryer and refrigerator inside were tossed around.

    Thankfully, Melisa Morisset said, both of their children who were home at the time, 4-year-old Jackson and 2-year-old Hailey, were in the dining room, away from the worst of the debris.

    Jared Morisset had to clear a way through the kitchen to get to the couple's two children sitting in the dining room.

    The driver, Nicholas Scott Hinkle, 25, had apparently had a seizure while driving and lost control of his vehicle, according to a Mankato Police report. The Morissets called the 911 and Hinkle was taken to the hospital.

    Police took their statements about what happened for a report, and a few days later both Hinkle’s and the Morisset’s insurance companies came out to look at the damage.

    In the meantime, they are staying at the Best Western, because a portion of their house is open to the elements. Water had to be shut off because of a broken pipe, and there is still glass everywhere.

    “When we moved into this house in June, it was condemned when we got here,” Melisa Morisset said. “We just got done doing all this stuff to repair it. The new roof is ruined. We just put it on right before winter came.”

    Because the children’s snow boots were covered in shards of glass, people from Jackson’s school, Franklin Elementary, pooled together to get he and Hailey replacement shoes.

    “We don’t want pity on us. We want people to know that life’s short, I guess,” said Melisa Morisset.