On June 26, 2010, my daughter Fealina Espinoza and four of her friends were coming home to shower from a camping trip. When they were coming down Ogden Canyon, the driver made a bad decision in passing their other friends who were traveling down with them in another vehicle. When they went around the corner of the mountain, they hit head-on with a truck, colliding full force and killing all five instantly.
As a little girl, Fealina liked to dance and sing and go to family functions. She always wanted to be with family and friends, and always put a smile on everyone’s face. She was always willing to help her family and friends, whom she loved so much.
Fealina was going to be a junior at Ben Lomond High School. She was getting ready to start her college courses, and she was going to be starting her first job that following Thursday. She was also on the volleyball team for Ben Lomond High School.
I will never forget the day I was told my daughter was involved in a tragic car crash. Not knowing how bad it really was until I arrived and saw so many family and friends who had made it up there and the other four teens. When I arrived, family came to me and said, “We’re sorry, but Fealina and the others didn’t make it.” I went numb and thought it was just a bad dream, until the Sheriff confirmed to all five of us families that our children were in that vehicle and did not make it. I just felt so empty inside.
That following night we had a vigil for my daughter at our home. The other families had their own. The people of the community who came out and supported all five families were amazing. The week of the accident just all happened so fast. First, hearing about the accident, then my daughter’s death, making arrangements for the viewing and funeral, watching them lower her into the ground, and then learning to deal with the grieving once everyone is gone. The pain and loss that we, the family and friends, have experienced has rocked the community of Ogden, Utah.
This is the message that Fealina’s family would like to pass along: Don’t take life for granted. Make sure you tell your family and friends you love them, and please, please follow all driving regulations and never pass in a no-passing zone. You never know what’s coming in front of you.
We love and miss you, Fealina!
(a.k.a. Lil’ James).
Five friends died in this crash.