Woman charged in crash that injured Cobb cheerleading coach



MARIETTA, Ga. - Police have now charged a driver accused of a crash that seriously injured a well-known Marietta cheerleading coach.

The crash happened May 13 at the intersection of Cobb Parkway and Pete Sailors Parkway in Marietta.

Investigators told Channel 2’s Ross Cavitt that 52-year-old Patricia Evans of Kennesaw was driving 72 mph when her car slammed into a Chevrolet driven by Chris Gage.

Gage’s friend and boss, Casey Jones, came upon the crash moments after it happened and said he considers the fact that Gage is still alive a miracle.

“We were expecting the worst almost from the moment of the accident,” Jones said.

Gage, the Stingrays cheer coach, remained in a coma for days but survived and on Friday he entered the Shepard Center in Buckhead to begin his recovery from serious neurological injuries.

Those he coached have been signing banners, sending cards and organizing prayer vigils.

“I think that helped them a lot because they were able to do some activities they knew would help them and surround him with love,” Jones said.

It took several police weeks to piece together the accident and finally make a decision on charges for Evans.

“There are a lot of measurements and a lot of details and techniques as well as corroborating witness statements from the scene,” said Marietta police officer David Baldwin.

Evans faces three traffic charges and a charge of felony serious injury by vehicle.

Jones said he expects the wreck to have a lasting effect on hundreds of lives.

“It immediately started to touch people, from the way folks were talking about how they drive and worrying about being on cellphones and texting and driving, so it’s really been an experience that's touched the lives of so many of our families,” Jones said.

Friends of Gage are working to get a left-turn signal installed at the intersection.