Teen Memoriam Stories

Maria Fernanda Herrera

“Her death has left an empty space in my heart that will never be filled.”

Maria Fernanda or “Fer” is what we always called her. She was born on May 24, 1994. The day she was born was one of happiest days of my life. She was the oldest of five children and was the queen of our house.

Maria was so helpful with her little brothers and sisters. There was a nine-year gap between her and her next sibling, so she would often help care for them while I was working at the family restaurant. When Fer was old enough, she worked in the restaurant and was a joy to have around. She always worked hard to serve our family. We miss her every day.

When Maria was little, she always wanted to be helping someone. She had the biggest heart and always put others before herself. Fer cared about everyone she met. She had nice things to say about everyone. She graduated from Northridge High School and was attending Weber State University studying social work. Maria’s goal was to work with children who had been abused. She also volunteered her time to work with children with special needs. She was beautiful inside and out. Fer had a bright future ahead. She was engaged to be married to her loving fiancé when she was suddenly taken from our lives.

Our family does not talk about the crash. It is too painful. As her father, it is really hard for me to talk about what happened that night. It should not be this way. No parent should have to experience such a tragedy. The traffic on northbound I-15 was stopped, because earlier that day there had been a bank robbery. The police were chasing the suspect on I-15 near Kaysville, when they were finally able to forcibly bring the chase to an end. Traffic was backed up quite some distance. Maria was driving home and was going too fast when she came upon the stopped traffic. She did not have enough time to stop. She swerved in an attempt to miss running into traffic, but was unsuccessful. Her car hit a sedan and then hit the back of a semi-trailer. She died on impact.

We cannot control the consequences that came from speeding. Our family lives every day with the results of this crash. We are all very sad; the kids miss her very much. There were over 1,000 people at Maria’s funeral. She truly touched the hearts of everyone she met. Her death has left an empty space in my heart that will never be filled. I do believe we will see her again and we will all be together forever.

The Herrera Family,

Martin, Eva Maria, Andrea, Carolina, Martin Jr. and Alejandro

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