Erica was born five weeks early, on April 18, 2000. She was pleasant to be around. Erica enjoyed reading, singing, playing the piano and accordion, and dancing. Erica even liked to talk in church. Erica always looked out for the underdog; making friends with the new kids in class or someone that needed cheering up. She was always positive. If she had a bad day, the next morning she would say, “Today’s a new day.” That’s how she lived her life . . . as if every day was a new day.
In junior high school, Erica was involved in track, cross country, basketball, and was a member of the Junior National Honors Society where she enjoyed helping plan activities to help those in need. One of the activities that she loved was Penny Wars.
On May 7, 2016 Erica went with a friend to take another friend a gift. Erica was supposed to be home by 10:30 p.m. so when she was a few minutes late, her dad sent her a text message asking where she was. Erica texted back, “We’re hurrying.” That was the last time we would hear from her. At approximately 10:45 p.m. our beautiful, smart, fun-loving daughter was killed when the driver of the car she was riding in was speeding and lost control of the car. The car turned sideways into oncoming traffic. They were hit on the passenger side of the car and Erica was killed instantly. Her friend who was driving was flown to Utah Valley Regional Medical Hospital in critical condition with a head injury, collapsed lung, broken ribs, and a cracked pelvis. The other driver and passengers were checked out at the hospital and released.
Erica had just turned 16 a few weeks before the crash. She was so excited to start driving and had asked her grandpa if she could buy his Ford Ranger truck, “Little Blue.”Her grandpa told her she had to learn how to drive it first (it’s a stick shift) and then they would talk. Erica was a sophomore at Salem Hills High School and it seemed that she had everything going for her. She was in the school choir and had just made it into Erica Leone Montague Age 16 · Payson, Utah Please don’t speed. If you are going to be late, call your parents and let them know. We promise you that they would rather have you home safe and sound (and late), than not come home at all. Serendipity. She was on the softball team (#00) and was planning to play summer ball with the team. Erica was looking forward to dating and had asked a friend to MORP (a girl’s choice dance). She had registered for classes for her junior year. She was also the Laurel President in our ward.
To say our lives have been forever changed since Erica was taken from us would be an understatement. We live daily with things that we will never get to do with Erica – see her graduate from high school, college, get married, have children, her dreams, and our dreams for her, not to mention those that miss her – us, her younger sister, her grandparents, family, and friends. We cannot express how grateful we are for the outpouring of support from our family, friends, co-workers, community, and even strangers since the crash. To help keep Erica’s memory alive we created a scholarship in her name called the “Have Courage, Be Humble and Kind Scholarship in Memory of Erica Leone Montague.” We hope to continue this scholarship for years to come so our daughter will never be forgotten.
Please don’t speed. If you are going to be late, call your parents and let them know. We promise you that they would rather have you home safe and sound (and late), than not come home at all.