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Candace Jo Wines was ambitious, polite, outgoing, friendly, and was always the first to tell the truth whether you liked it or not. If she didn’t, guilt would consume her to the point of tears. She always knew what she wanted to be and set many of her life goals at a very young age. She did whatever it took to accomplish her goals and be successful. With graduation drawing near, she was on track to compete her associate degree. She loved the challenge of her classes and the physical challenges in her weight training class as well. Her hard work in school did not go unnoticed and her little brother, Dylan, was able to receive her diploma on her behalf.
She loved many people and many people loved her. The community support after her death was amazing. It was overwhelming to see how many lives she touched. The stories are still coming as the year mark of her death approaches.
Every time the door opens I wait and long to see her come through it, happy and wanting to be held again. The reality is, it will never happen again. We are heartbroken and don’t know what to do with this empty spot that she once filled. As the days go by, we have found many things that indicated Candi was unknowingly showing us the path we needed to take after her death. From finding her belongings packed so she could move out on her 18th birthday, December 5, 2014, to the items she wanted displayed at her viewing and how she wanted her headstone… as unique and beautiful as herself.
On October 31, 2014, Candi and her fiancé, Lander Kern got ready for Halloween. They also helped Candi’s little brother and sister, Tanner and Hailey, get ready. Then they were off. Not to a Halloween party, but to visit each of their grandparents that lived in the Ogden area.
On my way home from work my, fiancé, Fred Hess, called to let me know he was on his way home, coming north from Brigham City, and that he saw Lander’s truck heading south. They had just passed the cement plant… little did we know what was about to happen.
I got home, changed into my Halloween costume, and took pictures of the kids in their costumes. A few minutes later, I received the call from Lander saying in a very calm voice, “We got in a wreck and I need you here. I can’t wake her up.” He was so very calm, I think he was in total shock. He said they were near Willard Bay and that he could hear sirens so help was on the way.
I yelled at Fred, “We have got to go NOW! Candi has been in crash!”
When we got in the car, I called my family… I couldn’t reach anyone as it was Halloween night. The whole time we were trying to get to Candi, I felt her spirit with me, telling me she had hurt her head, her fingers, left leg, and side. She was hurt bad. I kept calling everyone. I felt like we needed somebody to get to McKay Dee Hospital, that if she was going to a hospital it would be there.
I called Lander. He told me they were going to Brigham City Hospital and that Candi was already there. Fred called his sister to pick up Candi’s siblings and let them to stay at her house until we came back home.
As we were getting closer to the hospital, I could feel Candi’s spirit telling me that she fought as hard as she could, but she had to let go now. I cried so hard when she let me know… I knew we had lost her, but there I had to hold on to even a spark of hope that she would be okay.
We beat Lander to the hospital and Candi wasn’t there yet. Lander didn’t understand what was going on, he was told she was already there. They wouldn’t let me talk to Lander except for a brief moment when he got out of the ambulance. While we sat in the waiting room, they told us Life Flight was there and everyone was working on her, but that it didn’t look good.
When the hospital psychiatrist came in and let us know that Candace didn’t make it, the pain filled every fiber of my being. They informed us that as Candi was passing a semi-truck, her truck was sucked toward the semi and she over corrected, flipping into the median. She was ejected out of the driver’s side window and Lander ended up tucked in the backseat. Thankfully, he was able to escape out the back window with only a few scrapes. Another semi-truck had blocked oncoming traffic so they wouldn’t get injured more.
Incidentally, the facial injuries Candi’s fiancé suffered from the accident were in the exact same places that Candi had created fake injuries on her youngest brother, Tanner, for his Halloween makeup just earlier that evening.
Candi’s crash was due to lack of driving experience. She needed more time to develop her driving skills before driving on the highway for long distances. As her siblings are learning to drive, I want them to feel confident in their driving skills before getting behind the wheel solo or driving a long distance.
She is our angel that left us on mile marker 355.