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Son of woman killed in I-105 crash speaks out

Chris Newell said he's already forgiven the alleged drunk driver.

Posted: Feb 6, 2019 7:00 PM
Updated: Feb 6, 2019 8:21 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The son of an 82-year-old woman who was killed on I-105 by an alleged drunk driver said he has forgiven the man police say is responsible and believes his mother has too.

Police said Patsy Joan Roberts died on Feb. 2 at a local hospital from injuries she sustained in the crash. Chris Newell, Robert's son, said he drove up to Eugene from California as soon as heard his mother was in a car crash.

"It felt like somebody reached in my chest and ripped my heart out," Newell said.

Newell describes his mom as a hope giver and says she was always there for her family acting as a foster parent for some of her grandchildren. Newell said she was a loving woman who established a base of faith with their family. A faith that he said has not been shaken by this tragedy.

"Not at all, not at all," Newell said. "Because I know God never changes."

Police have arrested 55-year-old Marc Joseph McPhail who police said caused the crash. He is facing a slew of charges including DUII and manslaughter.

Newell said he's already forgiven McPhail and he believes his mother has too.

"We can't hold on to bitterness and anger, or it will eat you up and kill you from the inside out," Newell said. "So I actually forgive the man who allowed this to happen so there is no remorse or anger or bitterness."

McPhail is expected to be in front of a judge next month. Newell said his family will hold a private memorial service for his mother.

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