WEST JORDAN, Utah — Five members of one extended Utah family, including three children, were among eight killed in Sunday’s pileup accident on I-15.
Kortni Sawyer of St. George, along with her two children, son Riggins and daughter Franki, died in the crash, according to a GoFundMe page created by family and friends. In addition, Kortni’s brother-in-law, Race Sawyer from Lehi, and his 12-year-old son, Rider, were also killed.
Race was driving the vehicle that all five were traveling in when the accident occurred.
“We reverently mourn with both of these families and the parents and siblings of all involved as they face this sudden and inconceivable tragedy,” the page read.
Numerous accidents were spurred by a blinding dust storm that blew across the highway Sunday afternoon in Millard County, causing a chain reaction. Multiple people are reportedly in critical condition following the incidents.
The GoFundMe says Sawyer was a nurse, while 6-year-old Riggins “had recently graduated preschool, and loved basketball, superheroes, and legos. Franki was 2-years-old, spunky, and known as ‘Daddy’s Princess,’ her brothers’ shadow, and ‘Mom’s mini-me.'”
Kortni is survived by her husband, Mason, and son, Blue.
The post added that Race, 37, was a “dedicated and loving husband and father, an incredible athlete, loved to play games and preferred Snickers for breakfast and burgers for dinner.” Rider was described as “his mothers greatest teacher, always found the good in everything, and was humbly yet fiercely competitive in everything he did.”
FOX 13 also spoke with Phil Gephardt, the owner of Factum Mixed Martial Arts & CrossFit in Sandy, where Race trained and fought out of for roughly six years.
“The two most important things to Race was absolutely family and just probably making memories with that family,” Gephardt said.
He said Race would treat MMA like others would treat rec league basketball; he would take fights against any contender willing to fight him.
“He was a sportsman, he was a family man, he was just a great guy,” he added.
Race and Rider are survived by Race’s wife, Keshia, and daughter and sister, Faith, along with son and brother, Ran.
“There is so much more that can be said about these incredible people,” the GoFundMe read.
Richard and Maricela Lorenzon of Salt Lake City were also killed in the crash, as was 15-year-old Cameron Valentine of Yuma, Arizona.
A GoFundMe has also been set up for the Lorenzons’ family. It says the couple had four daughters, ages 7, 9, 21 and 26.
Nets On Fire, a basketball facility in St. George where Mason Sawyer works, is also hosting a fundraising event on Saturday.