Jacob Evans solves problems for a living.
But moving into the future after his wife of 15 years, mother of their six children – including twin girls born three months prematurely – died in a traffic collision Friday, has left him with some serious challenges.
Katie Snyder Evans, 37, was killed Friday night in a two-vehicle collision that happened shortly before midnight on Golden Valley Road near Valley Center Road.
The driver of the other vehicle, a 22-year-old woman, was driving on Golden Valley Road when she hit a curb, lost control of her vehicle then sideswiped another vehicle.
“I used to call home wherever Katie was,” Jacob told The Signal Tuesday. “Now, I’ll need a new definition.”
“One of the most complex problems I face is not being able to talk to Katie,” he said. “If there was anything that had to do with the kids, she would counsel me.
“She was the authoritative one. But, we worked together on how we were going to proceed,” he said.
Jacob and Katie – now just Jacob – had six children, each with their own character and their own needs. They are Spencer (12), Travis (11), Nathaniel (9), Gideon (2) and twin newborn girls Hannah and Sarah, each just eight weeks old.
“Our oldest son is autistic. He’s great. He’s upbeat. But, he has his own challenges,” said his father. “I’m going to miss how Katie would help him.”
Another unfathomable challenge for the single dad is meeting the unique medical needs of babies born profoundly premature.
“The twins represent some unique challenges.
“They were not due to be born until Nov. 22,” he said. “They’re miracle babies. The prognosis was unlikely that they would live.
“But, I have to remain optimistic,” Jacob said. “They’ll be home in December. I have a lot to figure out.”
Jacob Evans, director of production for Valencia-based ITT Aerospace Controls LLC, a firm, he said, that has demonstrated immense understanding for what he’s going through – was already trying to solve logistical problems posed by the prospect of having two newborn infants at home.
Concerns over night feedings and sleep deprivation, have since mushroomed into more serious concerns now that he’s on his own.
Many of the challenges, however, are being offset, Jacob said, by an incredible outpouring of love and concern.
One local woman offered to drive some of his kids to school, he said.
“The public is offering so much already. It is a huge wonderful blessing that we have such a wonderful community,” he said. “We’re struggling just to sort through the offers (of help) that we’ve had.”
The extent of support he’s received has proven overwhelming, he said.
“A Swedish newspaper wants to hear my story,” he said. “I don’t know anyone in Sweden.”
Every day more people turn up wanting to help the family. Every day, more and more money is being raised for the Evans family.
As of Tuesday afternoon, more than $225,000 has been raised on a fundraising website created specifically to help the Evans family.
“There are options open to us,” Jacob said, noting he’s thinking of moving his family closer to his extended family.
“The kids have good friends here,” he said, referring to Santa Clarita. “We love the people here.”
How are the children coping?
“When I told them, they cried really hard,” Jacob said, pausing for a moment. “Then they put on a brave face.”
Jacob expressed immense gratitude to the medical staff for helping with his wife’s pregnancy.
“We had a whole slew of people working on the (twins) pregnancy and people with years of training to make these two little girls happen, to make their lives possible, lives that would have usually not happened.
“And the person you should expect to be alive for it, is not.”
Jacob, in closing, said he tries to remain “positive.”
He has some advice too, he said. “I’d like to suggest to young people who have been drinking to re-consider how they’re getting home.”
Investigators with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station suspect the driver who hit the Evans vehicle may have been intoxicated at the time.
“No arrests have been made,” Sergeant Scott Shoemaker who commands the SCV Sheriff Station’s traffic section told The Signal Tuesday.
Investigators are waiting on the results of toxicology tests to indicate whether or not the 22-year-old driver of the other car should be arrested.
The turnaround for toxicology testing is usually about six weeks.
“I’ve asked that those tests be expedited,” Shoemaker said.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt