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Spanish Fork teen remembered fondly after dying in rollover crash

Posted at 5:00 PM, Mar 20, 2023

SPANISH FORK, Utah — Sweet, kind, funny, caring, goofy, loving and charitable were just some of a million words Jonathon Fudim could use to describe his 16-year-old son, Gideon — but the one that he said encapsulates him the most is rare.

"His capacity to care for others, his empathy for others, his ability to listen his ability to offer advice, his ability to make others feel included, to be able to bring humor when humor was needed, to bring kindness and gentleness when that was needed," Fudim said.

On Sunday morning, the Fudim family lost their son and brother when he was ejected during a car crash after the driver was speeding around a corner and the vehicle rolled in Juab County. Two other Spanish Fork teens were transported to the hospital in critical condition. Gideon was transported by helicopter but died from his injuries.

"The loss is too great. The sorrow is too great. The pain seems to just go on and on," Fudim said.

Although they are grieving, the Fudims say the outpour of community support from Spanish Fork and surrounding cities gives them solace.

"You don't know everybody that your children come in contact with, you're never going to know everybody, but these kids are showing up and they're telling us things," Fudim said. "Telling us things about our son that we knew he was capable of and we knew he did for others, but the scope of how much he did for others we had no idea."

Gideon's impact on the community was large. Stacy Anderson, the franchise owner of the Spanish Fork 7-Eleven decided to make a sign in front of her store for friends and community members to write notes remembering Gideon and supporting the others critically injured in the crash.

"When we found out about Gideon passing away, it was really important for us to make sure the family knew that the community was here for him and that we loved him and that we're going to miss him," Anderson said.

For Anderson, it was important the Fudims had something tangible to feel the love from the community.

"I know there's social media out there and everyone can post, but that's not tangible — that's not something you get to have, and I just really wanted the opportunity to be able to give them something," Anderson said.

Anderson says Gideon and his dad have come to the 7-Eleven for years, and over that time became not just loyal customers, but friends.

"Gideon is the same age as my daughter, and we became friends. [I] was able to talk and see him grow up, and it broke our heart when we found out he was gone," Anderson said.

The Fudims say they will cherish the time they shared with their son and want everyone to know that wearing a seat belt is non-negotiable.

"The little bit over 16 years we had him here with us, that's going to last us our lifetime," Fudim said. "We don't know if he had been wearing his seat belt if that would've made a difference, but we'll never know. We'll never know."

Donations can be made to the Fudim family here.

A GoFundMe campaign is also raising money for Erick Franklin, a friend of Gideon's who was severely injured in the crash. The GoFundMe page says his mom is a single mom, and she'll be out of work for several weeks while she helps him.