SUNSET, Utah – A teenager lost their life rolling a UTV in Middle Fork Canyon, and now the family says people are using their son to make money with fake online fundraising pages.
Jaden Parent spent his Memorial Day Weekend celebrating his 19th birthday.
“I mean it was routine, it was habit for them,” said Jaden’s mom Erin Bingham. “He always goes camping. He camps, he rides dirt bikes, he rides motorcycles, he rides ATVs; that’s his life."
Jaden’s family never expected that trip would be his last.
“’Our baby’s gone.’ I said, ‘what do you mean’ and he (Jaden’s father) said he was in an accident, he drove too fast,’” said Erin reiterating the conversation she had with Jaden’s father the night that their son died.
Jaden and his 18-year-old brother were driving a side-by-side (UTV vehicle) in the Sun Ridge area of Middle Fork Canyon Saturday.
According to police, they took a corner too fast. Jaden was launched, the vehicle rolled over onto him.
“It’s not possible, I know my son and I know he doesn’t drive too fast,” said Erin.
“That’s just not him to not wear a seatbelt,” said Jaden’s former stepdad Eric Sims.
Jaden and his brother made it back to camp, shortly after Jaden lost consciousness. They called for help.
A medical helicopter responded and medical personnel spent nearly an hour trying to revive Jaden. He died that night.
“He was young, way too young,” said Sims.
Jaden’s family said he grew up with motorized vehicles and he was always overly cautious.
Erin said Jaden was always responsible, he was in ROTC in high school and had plans to join the military.
Erin said his biological father, Randy, played a huge role in forming Jaden into the “great man” he was, recalling several occasions where people referred to Jaden as “wise beyond his years,” and a “role model.”
“It seems like a bad dream,” said Erin, “even the safest kids can have accidents.”
Now, to add insult to injury,the family has found fake online fundraising pages in their son’s name.
“It upsets me, it makes me feel like people are trying to profit off of my son’s death and it’s not right,” said Erin.
Erin said they don’t know the people behind these pages and they’ve tried to contact them.
“One of them, they even spelled Jaden’s name wrong,” Erin said.
One of those pages has since been deactivated, but the family hasn’t seen the hundred dollars that it raised.
“Nobody has come to me and said, ‘Erin here’s some money for his funeral,’ or ‘Erin I’d like to help you with expenses,’” said Erin. “Please don’t donate to these pages, they’re not for Jaden."
Until then, they want people to join them in remembering Jaden for the person he was.
“He just loved being happy, he loved life,” said Sims.
Jaden will be laid to rest this Saturday.
They are accepting donations to help cover funeral expenses. Donations can be made to Myers Mortuary in Ogden.
To donate online click, HERE.