Funeral held for wrong-way driver in Turnpike fatal crash

Published: Mar. 28, 2018 at 5:49 PM EDT
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The woman whose wrong-way driving started a tragic sequence of events on Saturday evening was laid to rest Wednesday.

In addition to the volunteer firefighters from Pratt who died, two other people died when they hit Beatrice Patrick’s car head-on.

Loved ones say they aren't sure why Patrick was so far from her home in Salyersville, Kentucky.

They say things changed dramatically when her husband passed away four years ago.

Allison Howard, the officiant of her funeral Wednesday, had known Patrick a long time.

"Just about everyone called her Do-Cat. Nobody knew her as Beatrice."

He tells us she never got over the grief of her husband dying in March 2014.

"The passing of her husband really took a toll on her. I think grief played a big deal that she never got over losing the love of her life,” he said. "Anything that he has was still at the house. It was still in the position that he left it. She didn't touch it."

Howard is also a member of the Magoffin County Rescue Squad. He said it was among the area’s emergency services which would get regular calls from her, just to be able to talk to someone.

One time she claimed to have a broken hip, but then answered the door.

"I thought in my heart and my mind that she was just grieving," Howard said.

But perhaps the episodes he'll most remember involve her calls to say a lizard was in her home and driving her nuts.

"Never did find one."

Her closest family was nieces and nephews, which he says she kept at arm's length. He said she did a lot of driving.

While he thinks she was OK to do so, others who didn't want to go on camera tell us they think she may have had other underlying medical issues and don't think she should have been on the road.

As for his fellow first responders who were killed Saturday, "My sympathy goes out to them."

As for Do-Cat herself, he hopes she's finally at peace.

"I will miss her, she's part of the family."

Patrick's family declined to speak with us Wednesday.

Meanwhile, West Virginia State Police have not finished their report on the crash yet. They're still not sure how or where she got on the wrong way, but say she made it at least 2 miles before crashing.