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Remembering Rick & Mari: A couple who loved Utah, lost in tragic I-15 pileup

Posted at 7:43 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 23:25:38-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The family of Rick and Mari Lorenzon gathered in their Salt Lake City home on Tuesday afternoon to share memories, grieve, and plan for what’s next.

“We’ve found a lot of comfort in each other’s arms,” said Rick’s brother Greg Lorenzon, perched in a chair next to his father Richard. “Rick was the oldest of six, I was the second oldest, and the two of us were inseparable together, and that bond stayed strong and I definitely believe it will continue to stay strong.”

Rick and Mari were heading to St. George on Sunday afternoon for a couples' retreat when they got caught in a dust storm in Millard County, which resulted in a pileup of more than 20 vehicles. Both passed away in the crash, along with six other people.

“I immediately called my sister to her cell phone to try to hear her voice to get her to answer me," said Jessica Cantu, Mari’s sister who heard about the incident from a family member. "When I didn’t get her answer, I knew that the news was true. She would always answer me."

Jessica came to Utah to grieve with her family. She says that Mari moved to Utah with interest in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“While living in Utah and working, she met Rick who was, at that time a missionary,” said Jessica, who mentioned that Rick left to serve his mission and reconnected with Mari on MySpace after returning. “And from that point on, they were inseparable.”

The couple lived in Texas for a few years before returning to Utah — a place they felt strongly about spiritually.

“My sister's future plans were just to travel within the mountains with her love, with Rick,” said Jessica.

“Just an all-around likable individual, had an influence for good on many people,” said Rick’s father Richard Lorenzon about his son. “Almost every day I talked to him, and he gave me a good pep talk and we had a very good relationship, so I’m really going to miss the relationship I had with him. He was a very understanding and generous person.”

Rick and Mari leave behind a loving extended family, friends and four daughters; two of which are under the age of 10 years old.

“We miss Rick and Mari very much, and we know they’re in a better place,” said LeeAnn Lorenzon, Rick’s mother.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses, as well as to help care for their children.