On June 29, Utah Highway Patrol responded to a chain reaction wreck in Kaysville, about 20 miles north of Salt Lake City, as vehicles attempted to avoid a load of canvas bags lost by a catering company along I-15.
According to UHP, two vehicles stopped, or nearly stopped, for the debris. A Ford F-250 failed to stop for the halted traffic, colliding with a Toyota Prius out of California. The Prius then struck a Chevy Malibu.
Two occupants in the Prius died on scene while another was transported by helicopter to a nearby hospital. The occupants in the Malibu were transported by ground in serious condition, according to UHP.
The driver of the pickup truck was arrested for a DUI.
UHP has since identified the victims as 77-year-old Stephen Cotler of California and 37-year-old Ariana Cotler – otherwise known by her pen name Violet Charles – of North Salt Lake.
Julia Quinn, author of “Bridgerton,” posted to Facebook Wednesday, saying, “I have lost my father and sister.”
A post to Stephen Cotler’s Facebook page says Charles’ service dog Michelle also perished in the crash.
“I have lost my father, and I don’t have my sister with whom to grieve,” Quinn continues. “I have lost my sister Violet Charles, with whom I had just finished writing a graphic novel. It was dedicated to our father. It will still be dedicated to our father. It won’t be a surprise anymore, but I’d like to think he suspected we’d do it. He knew us so well. He was our dad.”
There is no word yet on if the suspect driver arrested for a DUI has been charged.