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Family remembers Utah teen killed in wrong-way crash

Posted at 1:49 PM, Apr 22, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — The family of a 19-year-old Utah woman killed in a wrong-way crash remembers her laugh and desire to help others.

Gwen Doner was driving Monday evening when she was struck head-on by a man who was high on methamphetamine when he purposely drove westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-215, crashing into multiple vehicles.

PHOTOS: Family shares photos of Gwen Doner

After being extricated from her car, Doner was transported to the hospital where she died from her injuries Wednesday.

“Her laugh, a lot of people have great laughs, but hers was just a wild laugh," said Gwen's uncle, Brian Doner. "It was up, it was down, it was cackling. It was just her, it was belly rolling and every time she laughed it was just this really intense laugh and God… not hearing that again."

Justin Wayne Robertson, 35, was arrested Monday on multiple charges and is being held without bail. A passenger traveling with Doner suffered non-life-threatening injuries in the accident.

“We keep re-playing the odds over and over again, what's the odds that in that moment you are the one on the interstate at that spot, or the highway, or whatever it was. It is too hard to believe,” said Doner.

“It is really hard to wrap your mind around the accident itself.”

Doner's family is holding a vigil Thursday at 8 p.m. to honor her memory at Murray City Park.

A GoFundMe account says Doner was enrolled in a massage and holistic program.

"Gwen's most beautiful trait was always willing to make sure the unseen were seen and those who couldn't find their voice were heard. She leaves behind a devastated family and friends who continue to try and make sense of all of this," the family wrote on the GoFundMe page.

Doner's organs were donated after her death.