Teen Memoriam Stories

Darrin Elwood

“There was no drinking, drugs or speeding involved. In honor of Darrin and Tyler, do not drive drowsy!”

I don’t remember a lot since the crash that took the lives of our son, Darrin, and his best friend, Tyler. I do remember vividly the phone call while we were eating lunch that day. About two bites in, my husband received a call. The volume was turned up so I could hear what was being said. An officer wanted to speak to us about one of our kids and meet us at our home. My husband asked who it was about. The officer stated, “Your son, Darrin.”

I panicked and told my husband to tell the officer, “I just want to know if he is okay.” The officer wouldn’t respond over the phone. My stomach hit the floor. I became very impatient and wished we could fly to the house, even though it was only 10 minutes away. All I could say on the ride home was, “It’s never good when they won’t tell you over the phone… I know something bad has happened.”

At the house, waiting for the officer seemed like an eternity. I kept praying Darrin was alive. But that was not the case and on this day our lives changed forever. We will never be the same again.

We had to tell his brothers, sister and Grandma, who were in the house that Darrin, Tyler, and an unknown person were in a crash outside of Payson, Utah. Both boys lost their lives at the scene. 

Darrin recently graduated high school and couldn’t wait to fly to Utah and visit his best friend, Tyler (who was also like one of our own). The boys decided to take a road trip to Arizona, and they were having a blast! On the way back the boys decided to stop at the Grand Canyon, leaving many hours of drive time ahead. Along the way, they picked up a hitchhiker, who survived the crash. If you knew these boys, you knew they would do anything for anybody.  It is believed that Darrin briefly fell asleep at the wheel, hitting a guard rail that entered the vehicle.  There was no drinking, drugs or speeding involved. In honor of Darrin and Tyler, DO NOT DRIVE DROWSY!

Darrin was a comedian. He loved to make people laugh with his crazy jokes and expressions. He reminded me a lot of Jim Carrey. He was an artist; he loved to draw and doodle. He was a musician and wanted to be a “rock star.” His passion was the electric guitar, and he often played new songs he had learned for family and friends. He also loved to make videos. They are so funny to watch. My favorite is where he mimics the song “If I Were King of the Forest,” from the Wizard of Oz… his favorite movie. Darrin was also a “sandwich expert.” He’d worked for Subway since he was 16. He loved turkey bacon, even though he didn’t like the taste, and used it in his drawings, jokes, and pretty much his daily communication. Subway came out with a Turkey Bacon sandwich after the crash. He would have been so excited about that.

Darrin and Tyler we love you, we miss you, and think about you every single day. You will always be in our hearts and souls. Until we meet again—and we will.

Two friends died in this crash.


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