Family mourns man killed by suspected drunk driver

Family mourns man killed by suspected drunk driver

Posted: Updated:
A. Jay Cotten A. Jay Cotten
Liane Corwin Liane Corwin
MESA, Ariz. -

A father of three was killed trying to fix his car after it broke down during rush hour. It happened on the Loop 202 in Mesa. Officers say a drunk driver swerved into him.

DPS always warns us about how dangerous this is. A. Jay Cotten's car overheated on the 202 when he was on his way home from work.

He pulled over just to put water in his car. That's when officers say a drunk driver hit him.

42-year-old A. Jay Cotten, a father of three, was killed trying to fix his car on the side of the 202. He thought it would be a quick fix, but seconds later an SUV swerved into him.

"He wasn't just a man under a tarp or someone who caused an interruption on the freeway he was family," says Laura Laide, victim's sister-in-law.

Laura Laide says her sister had been married to him for more than 20 years.

"He was a wonderful father and a wonderful brother and a husband that anyone would die for."

Officers say 46-year-old Liane Corwin was driving drunk. She was arrested on a charge of reckless manslaughter, a class two felony.

DPS says her blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit as she drove down the 202 during rush hour Thursday night.

"Why, why do it, why get behind the wheel, why risk doing what you've just done to our family."

Laide says her brother-in-law knew the car had been overheating but he'd been unemployed for months and had just gotten a new job in construction. Cotten made the choice to go to his new job and put a gallon of water in back of the car just in case. His second day on the job -- and he never made it home.

"There's time in our lives that he was the only one who could get us through some things. He was an amazing person."

The family is now worried about how they're going to give him a proper burial. He had been unemployed and times have been tough.

As for Liane Corwin, she's being held on a $108,000 bond.

To help: A fund has been set up for the family. Just go to any Wells Fargo branch in the valley and ask to donate to the "A. Jay Cotten Memorial Fund."

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