SAFETY

Family of bride killed in I-15 crash pleads: Don’t drink and drive

Aug 9, 2021, 12:47 PM | Updated: Aug 10, 2021, 3:13 pm
family of bride killed in crash on i-15...
Family members of a bride married just hours before she was killed in a drunk driving crash on I-15 plead with others to be safe on Utah roads. Photo: Mary Richards, KSL

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — The family of a bride who died this weekend in a crash involving a drunk driver wants others to take note of her story and stay safe behind the wheel.

Bride remembered after deadly crash

The Utah Highway Patrol says Angelica Dhondup was leaving her wedding reception late Friday night/early Saturday morning when a wrong-way drunk driver hit her car on I-15 near 1700 South.

Several members of her family and her new husband’s family gathered at UHP headquarters in Taylorsville on Monday morning.

Tenzing and Angelica Dhondup started their married life just hours before troopers say a wrong-way drunk driver caused a crash, killing the new bride.

“She was everything to me, and our kids. And they took her, and I want to know why,” Tenzing sobbed.

His tears continued and so a niece, Marisol Demorst spoke. She had been in the car too.

“I’m glad she spent her last living hours talking about the people she loved. And she knows she was loved as well,” she cried.

“A lot of lives impacted” 

“She was the most loving person that we’ve known,” said her sister, Rachel Vigil. “There are a lot of lives impacted by this.”

“Her life was cut off,” Demorst said, “because of someone’s stupid mistakes of drinking and driving. I’m glad we were both wearing our seatbelts, because if I was not, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”  

 

“Before we realized, it was too late, and we were hit,” Demorst added.

Number of crashes and deaths on the increase

The Utah Highway Patrol says both the number of deadly crashes investigated and the number of people killed rose 50% in both categories from a year ago. 

179 people have died so far this year on Utah’s highways in these crashes.

Colonel Mike Rapich says too many Utahns drive drunk, distracted, angry, drowsy or unbuckled.

“Driving is serious business, and it needs all of our attention. It needs us to do it exactly appropriately. Small decisions sometimes have really horrible consequences,” he said.

The crash that killed Dhondup was just one of many over the weekend, Rapich noted. 

A deadly weekend on Utah roads

Fatal crash on I-70

According to the Department of Public Safety, DPS, on Saturday, a black Dodge Durango was traveling West on I-70 near MP 54. The Dodge was in the right lane when for an unknown reason the driver turned sharply to the right and went off the road. Once off the road, the vehicle rolled multiple times.

The driver was pronounced dead on the scene due to her injuries. The male passenger was transported to the hospital in serious condition. 

The investigation into this accident is still ongoing. 

Fatal motorcycle crash in Morgan County 

According to DPS, on Saturday, a group of motorcycles was traveling eastbound on I-84 near milepost 94. One of the riders of a Harley Davidson failed to stay on the road as it curved to the right, and went off the road to the left into the cable barrier. 

The Harley Davidson driver, Christopher Anderson, 67, was taken to the hospital where he later died in surgery. 

Fatal accident in Washington County 

A three-vehicle accident Sunday morning in Washington County claimed the life of one driver. The UHP report stated that the driver of the Chevy Cruze fell asleep and the vehicle veered to the right. 

 It then made an impact into the driver-side rear tires of a semi-truck pulling a trailer of cargo. The Cruze then lost control and came to a stop in one of the highway lanes. The semi-truck slowed down to avoid hitting it.

However, a silver Nissan Rogue failed to slow down and rear-ended the semi-truck. The driver of the Nissan was killed on impact.

Spanish Fork Canyon fatal crash 

A head-on collision on US-6 at milepost 182 up Spanish Fork Canyon Canyon Saturday night claimed two lives.

According to the UHP, a Mazda3 with two individuals in it was traveling eastbound. For unknown reasons, it crossed into the westbound lane. Moments later, it hit a westbound Audi A5 head-on.

Both occupants of the Mazda were killed in the crash. The individuals in the Audi A5 were transported by air ambulance with serious injuries.

UHP pleads with the public

These aren’t just statistics, these are people who have lost their lives to the dangers of driving.

“In the state of Utah we are seeing more high speeds, more intoxicated drivers, more distracted driving and we need to change the curve,” Rapich said. 

He urged everyone to take great care behind the wheel. 

“We can make better decisions, we can drive safer and we can avoid devastating consequences,” Rapich concluded. 

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Family of bride killed in I-15 crash pleads: Don’t drink and drive