“Respect Life: Don’t Drink and Drive” - Jacob Evans’ Story, Part Two

By Melissa Lampert-Abramovitch, KHTS

In Part Two of a special three-part series called “Respect Life: Don’t Drink and Drive,” The Way Out Recovery is continuing its partnership with KHTS to share a message about the dangers of impaired driving. 

On Oct. 6, 2017, 37-year-old Katie Evans was killed by a drunk driver about a mile from her house in Santa Clarita. The mother of six had been visiting her premature 2-month-old twin girls in the hospital NICU that night. 

“She was on her way back from the hospital, and that was the irony right? That the doctors had told us that these girls weren’t going to make it,” said Jacob Evans, Katie’s husband. “They were born 3.5 months early, so they were less than one pound.” 

While the doctors had encouraged the couple to abort the babies before their birth because they were certain the girls wouldn’t survive, Evans noted that the twins are thriving today.

“They got little graduation certificates from the doctors recently because they don’t need any more premie checkups,” he said. “But unfortunately, Katie, who should have had a full and rich life, she’s not here anymore, and it’s because somebody made the decision to drive drunk.”

Related: “Respect Life: Don’t Drink and Drive” - Jacob Evans’ Story, Part One

Evans noted that the newborns obviously didn’t know what had happened to their mother, and he decided not to tell his 2-year-old son about his mom’s death at the time.

“I didn’t tell the 2-year-old. He was young enough that we thought we would just kind of give him a little extra time,” Evans said. “We have great pictures of them together and some good videos and things, but he’s not going to remember her either, unfortunately.”

The couple’s older three boys, who ranged in age from 9 to 12 years old at the time, had to endure the pain of finding out their mother had died the morning after the fatal crash. 

“They had a good breakfast, and then I sat them down and I told them that their mom wasn’t going to be coming home, and it was like someone had cancelled Christmas for all eternity,” Evans recalled. “They just cried their little hearts out, and we gave them hugs. That’s all we could do right? What else can you do?”

Travis, the couple’s second-oldest son, was most impacted by Katie’s death, according to Evans. 

“She and he were really close, and he really struggled,” Evans said. “We had him in counseling to try and help him, but ultimately the only things that really kind of got him through were some really good friends who were there for him, and he does have a new stepmom who has tried to do her best to be there for him. It’s not the same, but it’s definitely helped.” 

While Evans noted that talking about that tragic night and how it has impacted his family and his children forever certainly isn’t comfortable, but that he continues to share his story for an important reason. 

“If me talking to you guys will keep one person from getting killed by a drunk driver, that life saved makes all my time, all my sharing these personal feelings, … it makes it all worthwhile,” Evans said, “because I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what I went through.” 

In Santa Clarita, drug issues are a major concern for many. The mission of the Santa Clarita rehab The Way Out Recovery SCV Drug and Alcohol Outpatient Treatment is to provide high quality, effective alcohol and drug outpatient treatment. The drug rehab’s goal is to assist adolescents, adults and their loved ones in becoming happily and usefully whole, free from drug addiction. Those seeking Santa Clarita drug treatment or a teen drug rehab can rest assured that The Way Out Recovery’s philosophy is to teach lifelong coping skills and strategies to assist in improving quality of life and living happily and meaningfully without the need of destructive behaviors.

The Way Out Recovery SCV
28118 Bouquet Canyon Road
Santa Clarita, CA 91350
(661) 296-4444