EVANSTON — A tragic accident claimed the life of a longtime Evanston resident early on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 14. Fidelina Saavedra, 66, was on her way to work when the car she was driving crashed into Phantom Fireworks on Overthrust Road.
A press release from the Evanston Police Department states officers responded to Phantom Fireworks at 7:14 Sunday morning after receiving a report that a vehicle had crashed into the building and smoke and fire were coming from the vehicle. The 911 caller said the airbags had deployed and it was not possible to tell if anyone was in the vehicle.
There were flames on the hood of the vehicle when officers arrived; however, they were able to locate one person inside and get her out for transport to Evanston Regional Hospital, where she later succumbed to her injuries. Officers on scene put out the fire using fire extinguishers.
According to the press release, an examination of the crash site showed that Saavedra’s vehicle had been traveling north on Overthrust Road prior to accelerating to a high rate of speed and leaving the roadway at the intersection of West Cheyenne Drive. The vehicle then traveled across the open field and through the parking lot prior to hitting the Phantom Fireworks building.
The EPD release states the events leading up to the crash are still under investigation and the Wyoming Highway Patrol is assisting in that investigation. The release also states, “The Evanston Police Department would like to remind everyone the value seatbelts play in saving lives and how important they [are], even in town.”
On Monday morning, Saavedra’s family remembered her as a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend. The mother of five and grandmother of 18 was reportedly on her way to work at the Wyoming State Hospital at the time of the accident Sunday morning. They said she had worked as a kitchen aide at WSH for 15-16 years and had been planning on retirement early next year.
Saavedra’s children said their mother was a very kind and selfless woman who would do anything for anybody and was a good friend to everybody.
A devout Catholic, Saavedra loved to give blessings to people, was quick with a hug and a smile and was very social and loved to talk with anyone and everyone. Described as “all about family,” Saavedra also loved to travel to visit her siblings around the country.
As indicated in the press release, Saavedra’s family said they don’t know what happened prior to the crash other than she was on her way to work. They did say, however, that the speculation on social media was upsetting and stressed that their mother did not drink alcohol and that what happened was a terrible accident.