Viewpoint: Spanish Fork tragedy hits home

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    This month, a life was lost and numerous lives were changed forever. It could have been your mother, sister, wife, or friend. To someone, she was all that and more.

    Julie was one of the sweetest girls you could ever meet. Even those who merely passed her in a crowd would have seen something special in her. She had a kind word and sincere smile for everyone.

    She fell in love with a man named Joshua. They were married, and had a beautiful baby boy, Jackson. And then, without warning, Julie was gone.

    Driving Spanish Fork Canyon Jan. 11, a car going too fast lost control on a patch of black ice and swerved into her lane, hitting her car head-on.

    Baby Jackson was fine, but his dad had surgery on both of his broken legs and will have more before his ordeal is through.

    Jackson will never see his mother again in this life. Julie died the following morning.

    She was kept on life support until her parents were able to arrive from Montana to say goodbye to her for the last time.

    Article after article has been written about the dangers of Spanish Fork

    Canyon. In 1999, ten people were killed; in 2000, seventeen; and in 2001,

    eleven.

    Is Julie the first death in the year 2003? Does it matter? Statistics

    can show any number, and if it is more than zero, it is too high.

    Emotions can become detached when these deaths are seen as statistics only, but these are people. Their families don’t think of them as just another number.

    That is why something must be done. This isn’t about money or politics. This isn’t about shaving a couple minutes off your commute to work. This is about life.

    The friends and family of Julie will help each other get through these difficult times. Josh’s mom, Sue, is quitting her job to help her son take

    care of his baby. They are a strong, religious family. They will turn to their

    religion and their God. Comfort can and will be found from these things.

    However, belief in life after death doesn’t change the fact that Julie will

    never see her baby boy take his first steps, take him to his first day of kindergarten or see him get married. She is gone and that is a hard thing.

    The road obviously has flaws; otherwise it wouldn’t be one of the most dangerous roads in the nation. Fix it. People drive too recklessly on it. Stop it. Stop before it becomes personal to you like it did to all those who knew and loved Julie.

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