Teen Memoriam Stories

Andrew Tolman

“Please be alert near crosswalks, and slow down below the speed limit anytime your vision is impaired, especially near pedestrians.”

Andrew was 16 years old, the sixth of eight children, beloved uncle to four nieces and one nephew, and a special part of his family. He was a junior at Viewmont High School and played on a competition soccer team. He also played the trumpet and had many friends in school and band, as well as on his soccer team. He loved to play the piano and filled our home with beautiful music. He was a part of his high school marching band and had aspirations of trying out to be drum major his senior year. He had just finished his requirements to earn his Eagle Scout award. He wanted to follow the example of his sister and brothers and serve an LDS mission. But that will never happen.

Andrew had gone on a bike ride in the afternoon after school and was on his way home for his sister’s birthday celebration. He was walking his bike across a crosswalk at the bottom of an overpass, less than a half-mile away from home, when a car hit him. The driver wasn’t speeding, but with the sun in her eyes she didn’t see Andrew and her SUV hit him at full speed without braking. He hit the windshield and was thrown over the car, hitting the pavement and losing consciousness on impact. He had suffered a fatal head injury. Though emergency responders managed to revive some of his vitals, he passed away en route to the hospital.

The following day most of the student body at Viewmont dressed up in their Sunday best for school in remembrance of him. At his funeral, more than 160 young men and women formed a choir to sing.

As the days passed, his friends visited our home frequently to show love and to comfort our family. Even months later, his friends still come to our home to show their love for Andrew. Andrew was the kind of person who touched many, many lives in his short life.

Friends rallied together to raise money to purchase orange flags for individuals to use while crossing several of the crosswalks in Farmington, so that this kind of tragedy can be avoided in the future.

Andrew is loved and missed every day. He was a talented young man with goals and plans. He wanted to be an architect and a missionary, a friend and a father. He had a very bright future. His death is a great loss for his family, friends and community.

Please be alert near crosswalks, and slow down below the speed limit anytime your vision is impaired, especially near pedestrians. An otherwise normal intersection you drive through every day can change in a moment, so please adjust how you drive according to road and weather conditions. Don’t assume that another person will do what you expect them to do, whether they are driving, walking or riding a bicycle. Anytime your vision is impaired, be extra cautious because you never know whose son, brother, friend, or loved one could be hidden by the glare of the sun or a frosted or snowy windshield. Life is precious.

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