Family says they forgive teen driver who fatally struck woman in Sandy crosswalk

Posted at 10:58 PM, Dec 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-03 15:48:43-05

Saturday night, family and friends gathered in Holladay to mourn the loss of Stephanie Burton.

Just a couple days prior, on Thursday evening in Sandy, Burton was one of a few pedestrians hit while in a crosswalk on the way to see the Festival of Trees. Burton passed away early Saturday.

“She will be missed by a lot of people," said sister-in-law Alisha Burton. “Stephanie was an incredible adventurer. We’ve talked a lot in the past few days about how Stephanie’s had enough adventures to fill several lifetimes.”

Burton dedicated her life to saving others as a registered nurse. Most recently, she was working in labor and delivery at St. Mark's Hospital.

“We worked the night shift together, which was crazy," reminisced co-worker Wendy Romo. “She just stood up like a sister to me and we became such good friends. So it’s been really hard.”

Her step-mother of 22 years, Angela Burton, said the loss was felt greatly Friday night when family was out to dinner. She said Stephanie was the one who made the plans.

“As a family, we leaned on Stephanie so much," she said. “I don’t know how we’re going to have a good time in our family now without her.”

Just a few weeks ago, Stephanie Burton was swimming with sharks in Fiji. Her friends said she traveled a lot, and often times brought them along.

They said they will especially miss her during her favorite holiday, Halloween, which she took very seriously—always dressing up in the scariest costumes and playing many silly tricks. Most of all, they will miss her laugh.

“She was very much the individual that I wish I could be even more every day. She worked hard. She played hard. And that is something that we all enjoyed and will take that going forward," said Alexandra Christensen, who has been friends with Burton for 12 years.

Despite their broken hearts, her family said they forgive the 17-year-old driver that hit Stephanie; it's what she would do.

“Our hearts go out to him too for what he’s going to have to go through and look forward in his life. We hope that he can overcome this too and learn," Angela said.

Her family said Stephanie is still giving to others, even after her passing. Stephanie Burton is an organ donor, and Alisha said she hopes Stephanie will help save another life this Christmas.