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Family speaks after crash in Herriman killed 5-month-old girl

Posted at 10:10 PM, Apr 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-12 07:43:06-04

HERRIMAN, Utah -- A Herriman family is home from the hospital after being injuredin a crash on Mountain View Corridor Monday that killed their infant child.

The grandfathers of 5-month-old Alice Skankey said Wednesday that her parents and sister weren’t seriously hurt after police said a reckless, speeding driver blew through a red light and slammed into them.

Robert Skankey said his son Bryce Skankey and daughter-in-law Tonya Skankey, as well as the couple's 2-year-old daughter Yuki, suffered bumps, bruises and scratches that should heal relatively quickly.

“Considering the magnitude of the accident, they're doing surprisingly well,” Robert said, during a press conference with Tonya’s father Bill Wenzel on Wednesday.

He said the family of four had just come back from dinner and decided to head out grocery shopping when authorities said 26-year-old Lawrence Probert crashed into them and another car, sending five people to the hospital.

“They were all going together, and stopped at the stop light,” Robert said. “When it turned green, they went—and that was it.”

Their baby Alice didn’t survive the crash, and Robert said it’s hard to bear the loss.

“You just can't believe it happened, then you are just very angry—why? Why does this happen?” He asked.

He and Bill described the 5-month-old as just getting to the stage in life where she was moving around, and reacting to the people around her.

Bill said Alice had a “beautiful smile,” and Robert said Alice had bright, big eyes.

Strong in the LDS faith, Robert said Bryce served his mission in Japan. Bryce and Tonya met in school, Robert said, and while Bryce is looking forward to working in international relations after majoring in Japanese, Tonya is a culinary graduate who plans to go into catering.

He said they were just starting out their family.

Now, as they cope with the loss of such a young life, Robert and Bill thanked the first responders and hospital staff and expressed their appreciation to the community for tremendous support.

They said the couple will need that support long-term.

“It’s amazing to me how they got out of it almost unscathed—almost. And then it’s amazing to me that Alice was taken,” Robert said. “That juxtaposition is hard to…comprehend.”

He said when it comes to the person responsible, the family does not harbor malice and they’re reserving their judgement. He said they trust law enforcement will ensure justice is served.

Unified Police said Wednesday evening that Lawrence Probert will soon see charges in the crash. He is currently in custody due to his probation status with Adult Probation and Parole.

A fundraising account has been set up to help the Skankey family