Sandon was born on January 20, 1997, bringing joy and brightness to a winter day. He was welcomed into our family by his parents and two older brothers. He was a bouncy, happy boy with a contagious, quick smile and a kind and loving heart. Sandon looked up to his brothers and wanted to do what they were doing. You couldn’t tell Sandon that he was “too little” for something – it just strengthened his determination. When he was five, his little sister was born. They quickly became the best of friends. He loved, teased, tormented, and protected her. He graduated from Uintah High School having played on the tennis team and adding his beautiful bass voice to the “Hi-Lites,” the school’s premier choir. Sandon spent his summers as a youth leader at BSA camps, became an Eagle Scout, and was awarded many palms thereafter. He loved to shoot and was a better aim than his father.
Sandon was non-judgmental and gave everyone a chance. He was very concerned with others and spent much of his life quietly trying to brighten other’s days. He sent texts to people who were having a hard day or made a quick stop to say hello or check on those he was thinking about. He often knew when someone was struggling or needed a boost. We were touched by the magnitude and far-reaching influence of Sandon’s love. We didn’t know how many people Sandon had impacted until after his death.
After high school graduation, Sandon stayed at home and worked full-time while taking classes at the USU Uintah Basin Campus. He was planning to move to Logan on May 30th to continue his education. But Sandon did not get to realize that dream. On the afternoon of May 27, 2016, he and a sweet friend, Cierra, took a short drive to a popular mountain biking area called McCoy Flats. They were hit from behind by an inattentive driver while waiting to make a left hand turn and pushed into oncoming traffic. Sandon was killed instantly and Cierra struggled for her life for several weeks. Our lives were forever changed in that one instant!
Sometimes you do everything right behind the wheel but your life is also in the hands of other drivers on the road. Distracted or inattentive driving can change lives in an instant. Sandon had many dreams that will go unfulfilled; many life experiences and goals that he won’t be able to share with his family. This world now has a giant hole without the comfort that Sandon gave to others and the laughter and joy that he added to their lives.
No parent should have to answer the door and see two highway patrolmen standing there with sorrow in their eyes. No child should have to struggle for her life, miss the funeral of her friend, and be told, weeks later after waking up from a coma, that her friend is dead. Sandon would want us to remember what is truly important in life . . . our families, giving service, and influencing those around us for the better. Always tell those you love that you love them and live so that they know it. We thought we would see Sandon again within the hour but we didn’t get to say goodbye. It gives us peace to know that he knew we loved him, and that he loved us.
Let us not forget that when we sit behind the wheel, we also affect other people’s lives for good or bad.