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.