Teen Memoriam Stories

Jesse Titmus

Our precious angel was taken home too soon by his maker on September 6, 2021. Jesse Cade Titmus had recently graduated and turned 18 on July 22. He had his whole life in front of him. Not long after, he bought a car and stayed with me for the weekend, fixing up his car, changing the oil, etc. He planned to go down to St. George, Utah, to work with family and save some money to travel. We had pizza and relaxed Saturday evening and we went to bed. 

The next morning, he was going to get up early and make the four-and-a-half hour drive to St. George. He slept in, telling me he felt so peaceful and it was so nice to be at home. I made him breakfast and we went out to look at the car before he left. We chatted about safety, gas mileage and how important it was to keep his phone put away. I hugged him, told him I loved him and he headed out. A bit later he texted me that he made it, put good gas in the car like I’d asked, and told me he was going to take it easy so he would be ready for work the next day. I was so proud. I felt so much better knowing he was safe.

I went to sleep that evening, having to work the next morning myself. I heard a loud pounding on my front door at 2:12 a.m., “Highway Patrol, open the door.” Two officers were standing outside my door asking if Jesse was my son and if they could come in and speak with me. I was very confused and asked, “What has he done?” They proceeded to tell me he was involved in a fatal crash in the Valley of the Gods. I told them this was impossible, he was in St. George. They assured me it was him, offered condolences and simply left. 

I went out to my backyard and yelled into the night sky, “What the heck are you doing?” to him, “Where did you go?” having lost my sanity temporarily. It was the most horrible, empty feeling I have ever felt in my life.

Jesse made a decision the evening of the 5th to head out for a road trip, not telling anyone where he was going. He knew I would likely disapprove. He was so excited to have his freedom and make choices on his own. The last known place he stopped was in Page, Arizona to get a burger, fries and a lemonade. We found that receipt with his belongings. 

At 11:30 p.m. he veered off the road at mile marker 18 on highway 163 (Monument Valley) heading toward Mexican Hat, Utah. He was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the car which rolled multiple times. He had all his belongings in the car including his recently deceased best friend’s guitar, which was the only thing unharmed in the crash. We think he was headed to Valley of the Gods to camp, take pictures and eventually head east to visit friends.

His decision to take a road trip late in the day, not being an experienced driver, drowsiness, speed, not wearing a seat belt, and other distractions cost him his life. I am very thankful for the members of the Navajo Nation and the Farmington, New Mexico, AirMed crew who were there with him when he passed.

Never say goodbye to anyone without making sure they know you love them.

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