Gabby Petito’s parents file suit against Moab Police alleging they could have saved her life had they not prevented her from taking the bus when she was arrested.
An 18-year-old Gabby Petito says that if she had a car, she would have kept going with her best friend, Mariah Green. But her parents say that if they’d had a car, Gabby would have never been arrested, and if not for their intervention, she and Mariah would be alive.
Gabby’s parents, who were asleep when their daughter was arrested on a warrant for driving while intoxicated, had no clue what was going on. And they say the police may have stopped Gabby not for driving, but for nothing.
“I felt helpless, powerless. I was scared,” Gabby’s mother told NBC News. “She has been through so much in her life, and we’ve tried to shield her from it, but sometimes I am so tired that I believe it’s over.”
A police report says that when the school bus was stopped at a gas station on Interstate 25, a police officer saw Gabby and another girl arguing. The officer also saw another girl trying to run away. She flagged down the bus driver, but by the time she could tell that her friend was in distress, the suspect was gone.
A deputy on duty noticed the girl in distress behind the wheel, so he went to the gas station. While police were interviewing Gabby with her hand over her mouth, he tried to perform CPR on her, but that was unsuccessful. The girl died of asphyxiation after paramedics arrived.
The officers who stopped the bus saw Gabby driving, but didn’t immediately arrest her. In fact, the deputies got Gabby’s address from her mother, and left, thinking she lived with Gabby. They weren’t looking for Gabby, they believed.
That night, Gabby’s mother and father made arrangements to have Gabby transported to St. John’s Hospital in Utah. They followed the ambulance out of Moab, not knowing that they