Connor was born July 13, 2000 in Moab, Utah. Connor loved outdoor activities and was a natural athlete. From an early age, he played soccer, basketball, football, and his favorite sport, baseball. As a sophomore, he worked hard both academically and on the field to earn the starting centerfield position for the Grand County High School (GCHS) baseball team. He was proud of what he accomplished, and he was excited for the upcoming season.

On Saturday, March 4, 2017, Connor asked permission to spend the night at a friend’s house, where he and three others planned to play Xbox. At approximately 5 a.m. the next morning, the four of them decided to go for a walk before they each went home. They had walked a few blocks in the residential neighborhood when a schoolmate drove up and asked them if they wanted a ride home. They got into the car and instead of taking them home, the driver took them for a ride into the La Sal Mountains. The driver had gone to the junior prom the night before, and had attended after-prom parties.

Connor was to return home at 9 a.m. on Sunday and when he didn’t arrive, phone calls were made and texts sent to him; he didn’t respond. About an hour later, a phone call came from the mother of the friend he stayed with the night before. She said there had been an accident and told us to get to the hospital as soon as possible. As we approached the hospital with Connor’s dad, we were met by law enforcement officers who gave us the devastating news that Connor didn’t make it.

Connor was to return home at 9 a.m. on Sunday and when he didn’t arrive, phone calls were made and texts sent to him; he didn’t respond. About an hour later, a phone call came from the mother of the friend he stayed with the night before. She said there had been an accident and told us to get to the hospital as soon as possible. As we approached the hospital with Connor’s dad, we were met by law enforcement officers who gave us the devastating news that Connor didn’t make it.

When the investigating officers arrived at the hospital, they told us the car was traveling at a high rate of speed when the driver missed a curve in the road. The vehicle rolled multiple times; Connor was ejected from the vehicle suffering injuries so horrific that the officers warned us he was unrecognizable. We also learned another passenger, Taylor Bryant, did not survive and that both she and Connor were still at the scene. They were considered “evidence” and would be transported directly to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Salt Lake City. The two other passengers were critically injured and air-lifted to trauma units in Colorado and Salt Lake City. The driver was also injured and air-lifted to Colorado.

The first home baseball game of the season took place two days after Connor died. The baseball team and coaches (Connor’s brothers) paid tribute to him at the game by leaving centerfield open for the top half of the first inning and taking an out in the bottom half when Connor would have been up to bat.

Connor never had the chance to run out to centerfield and take his position for the Grand County Red Devils. He will never again grab a bat and step up to the plate. Connor’s memorial service was held on the GCHS baseball field. John Fogerty’s song, “Centerfield” was played for Connor.

Our family has been overwhelmed and grateful for the outpouring of love towards Connor. He was loved by all and his loss continues to touch those who knew him. The students at Connor’s high school regularly visit the scene of the accident and leave notes, trinkets, and other special thoughts to remember Connor. He will be missed.

Our family learned that alcohol may have been given to the driver by adults who knew better than to allow the alcohol into his hands. One of the most tragic parts of Connor’s death is that it could have been prevented if responsible adults had made sure that alcohol was not distributed to a minor. There are laws and rules in place to protect our minors and innocent people from irresponsible alcohol consumption. As a family, we hope that if nothing else, Connor’s death can help to prevent future tragedies like the one we have lived through.

WE HOPE THAT CONNOR’S DEATH CAN HELP TO PREVENT FUTURE TRAGEDIES LIKE THE ONE WE HAVE LIVED THROUGH.

2017 Teen Memoriam