TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (News4Utah) – Parents of a teen who died in a car crash back in 2013 are warning drivers to slow down over Memorial Day weekend and throughout the “100 Deadliest Days of Summer.”
Martin and Eva Herrera lost their 18-year-old daughter Maria Fernanda five years ago. They said she was going too fast down I-15 and came upon stopped traffic. She had no time to stop before she hit a truck, her father said.
Thursday would have been her 24th birthday.
“We don’t want to celebrate her birthday like this,” said Martin Herrera. “It’s sad. It’s very sad.” Herrera clutched his wife Eva’s hand, who stood by his side in silence Thursday – unable to talk about her loss. Tears streaked her cheeks.
“She couldn’t see the truck,” Herrera said. “She had no time to stop.”
The Herreras are warning drivers to not make the same mistake this Memorial Day weekend and throughout the summer. According to transportation officials, the number of fatal crashes in Utah nearly doubles from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.
In 2017, 90 people died on Utah roads during the “100 deadliest days.” Transportation officials also say 94 percent of all fatal crashes are caused by human error, including impairment, not buckling up, distracted driving and speeding.
“I know sharing her story is gonna make people think twice before they speed,” said her father. “I think it’s a way for her to live, because people are going to remember what happened to her.”
Maria Fernanda wanted to become a social worker and help people, her father said.
The Herreras said their four younger children are not yet old enough to drive, and the thought of them behind the wheel scares them after what they have endured.
For more information on the “Utah’s 100 Deadliest Days,” click here.