Friend of victim in fatal crash says man had been caring for wife during ongoing illness

Posted at 8:14 PM, Feb 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-20 22:14:34-05

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah -- Police have identified a man who was killed in head-on crash in South Jordan Friday night, and Saturday a long-time friend said he worries about the man's wife because of her ongoing medical needs.

Officers said 56-year-old Brent Williams of West Valley City was driving with his wife when a car full of teenagers crossed over the median, striking the couple’s vehicle head on.

Trustden Paxton said he grew up with Brent Williams.

“He’s going to be somebody I miss a lot,” Paxton said.

The two neighbors often worked on their cars together. Paxton said something seemed off Saturday, as Williams wasn’t working on his car or taking care of his front lawn.

“I’m in shock,” he said. “I can’t believe that happened.”

Police said a white SUV, driven by a 17-year old girl and with four more teens inside, was driving westbound on 9800 South around 7 p.m. Friday night when the vehicle drifted across the median.

All five teens, and Williams’ wife, were taken to a local hospital and are expected to recover. Williams died due to injuries he suffered in the crash.

Police said Saturday they’ve determined that alcohol, drugs and high speeds were not factors in the crash. They are still examining cell phone records to determine if distracted driving might have played a role.

Paxton said neighbors are crushed, and worried. They said Williams had been caring for his sick wife for years, and they wonder who will take care of her now.

“That’s what I’m scared of, because she really, seriously, she can’t work," Paxton said. "She is on oxygen, she's allergic to everything, and his son just barely, barely moved out like a month ago."

FOX 13 News tried to reaching out to Williams family Saturday afternoon but was not successful. Neighbors say Mrs. Williams was set to be released from the hospital Saturday afternoon.