Police, relatives unclear why car drove into back of semitrailer truck in Fridley.
A two-year-old boy who survived a high-speed car crash that killed his parents Friday will live with his grandmother in Crystal, a great-aunt said Sunday.
The boy’s parents, Wilbur and Patrice Hooks of Crystal, were killed after leaving a relative’s house in the recently purchased 2007 Chrysler 300, said Patrice’s aunt, Brenda Hunter.
She said the family was told of the fatal crash Saturday and that Hooks, 32, was driving well over 100 miles an hour when he smashed into the back of a semitrailer truck about 8 p.m. Friday on Interstate 694 in Fridley.
“Our family is absolutely devastated,” said Hunter, 44. “We are puzzled and confused as to why he would be driving at such a high rate of speed … He loved to drive fast, that was an issue. They just bought the car a few weeks ago.”
She said the couple and their son, Bishop Hooks, had visited two relatives that evening. She said Patrice, 31, was a cautious driver and was worried about her husband’s fast driving.
“You don’t know what would cause somebody to do that. The answers lie within them and they are dead,” Hunter said on Sunday.
Hunter, who talked to her niece weekly, said Patrice Hooks was excited about a second child she expected to deliver in September.
The couple had recently moved to an apartment in Crystal that they shared with Patrice’s mother, Patricia Jackson, who will care for her orphaned grandson, Bishop, Hunter said. She said Bishop had minor injuries and is expected to join his grandmother Monday. Wilbur Hooks was an unemployed auto mechanic and Patrice Hooks was a full-time receptionist at Bethune Elementary School in north Minneapolis.
The boy was being cared for by Anoka County Social Services Sunday, said State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske. He said the county medical examiner’s office is expected to make a positive identification of the two victims Monday.
Witnesses told the State Patrol that the car wove through traffic before hitting the truck without slowing down. It is unknown if Hooks intentionally hit the truck, if the car had a mechanical problem, or if the car went out of control for some reason.
Hunter said Patrice Hooks, whose father died from cancer five years ago, has a sister and two brothers and graduated from high school in Waterloo, Iowa. She said the couple married two years ago and were regular worshipers at Purpose Church in north Minneapolis, where Wilbur Hooks was baptized recently.
Patrice Hooks “is terribly missed. She leaves a son; we could tell her she will never have to worry about him being well taken care of,” Hunter said.
“We will rally together to take care of him and provide whatever he needs … Her son will have to know her through our memories and pictures. He will always know who his mother is because she loved him so much.”
Jim Adams • 612-673-7658