On June 7, 2021, we lost our sweet Emma and her friend Payton, in a fiery car crash in Heber. A week before the crash, Emma graduated from Wasatch High School and went on a senior trip to our cabin with some friends. I was concerned about her traveling far from home with her friends, but she told me to trust her. They made it home safely.
The morning of the crash, Emma went to work at 5:15 a.m. as a lifeguard. After lifeguarding, Emma taught her first swim lesson and told me she was so excited to teach; it as going to be a great summer!
She came home to do a few things and talked to me and her oldest brother in the kitchen. She mentioned she was going out with Payton and some friends. I was starting dinner, mentioning that Isaac’s girlfriend was coming. I had a strong feeling she needed to stay home. I didn’t want her to go! She mentioned Payton was outside waiting and to save some dinner. She walked away saying, “I love you!”
Around 6:00 p.m. on the day of the crash, we heard about a car crash on HWY 89. Payton’s mom called asking if I knew where the girls were. I mentioned they were going to Deer Creek. I tried calling Emma; it went to voicemail. I went out looking for them at the reservoir and a friend’s home but didn’t see their vehicle. I went home and told her dad about the situation. We drove over to Payton’s home. Her mom was outside worried, and her dad was out looking for the girls. I called the sheriff asking if he knew anything about the situation. The sheriff called back asking which daughter, her friends’ names and the vehicle they were driving.
A few minutes later, a cop car drove up, then all the police officers, the sheriff, and our bishop. Payton’s dad pulled up too. We all started to cry! My kids arrived. Our hearts were torn apart. I felt numb, having no idea how this was possible. My husband grabbed me, held me tight; we both cried. After the news, I couldn’t sleep or eat. I didn’t want to go outside. I kept checking Emma’s room to see if she was there; if they made a mistake. Our family was at a loss. My family was my strength.
Our sweet Emma was going to Snow College in the fall. She was our social butterfly! She was a girl that would go out of her way to meet new friends. If Emma saw someone sitting alone, she would talk to them, letting them know they were friends. She had a beautiful spirit and a beautiful smile. When she walked into a room, everything was better. She had a contagious laugh; there was never a dull moment. She loved animals and was hoping to be a vet assistant. One of her best friends was her dog, Charlie. Emma and her siblings would take Charlie for walks to one of Emma’s favorite places in the mountains.
This is what we understand happened. A truck heading eastbound hit a jeep, the jeep swerved into oncoming traffic, clipped a car, and collided with our girls’ car. Both cars caught on fire. They weren’t able to free themselves. They believe all three died on impact. Some witnesses tried to rescue the girls, but the fire was too hot. We truly need to be aware of our surroundings and be attentive drivers. It’s easy to be distracted by everything around us. Follow the laws and keep your eyes on the road. Don’t be in such a hurry. Here I was worried to let Emma drive long distances with her friends and this fatal crash happened near our home. Crashes can happen anywhere if we’re
We miss our sweet Emma every day and pray she is with us during family gatherings.
She is our sweet little angel! BE A SAFE DRIVER!