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Jacob was a fun loving, easy-going 15-year-old. He was born on October 18, 1998 on his mother’s birthday. She could not have asked for a greater gift, a true bundle of joy. Jacob had a passion for music, including playing the piano and singing. He enjoyed hiking, hunting, baseball, and participating in school plays. He loved playing cards and horsing around with his siblings, cousins, and friends. Jacob had a funny personality and you could always count on him for a laugh. His fun-loving personality made it easy for him to make friends. He was very independent and a great example to all.
On August 23, 2014, Jacob and his grandmother, Ruth Nelson, were coming home from the Box Elder County Fair in Tremonton, Utah. Jacob had his learner permit and had already completed a driving course that summer. He was in need of more driving hours so he could get his license on his 16th birthday. His grandmother willingly let him drive her home because that’s what loving grandmas do. They exited off of I-15 in Perry, Utah heading toward Highway 89. He came to a stop sign on Highway 89 where there was a high-profile truck making a right hand turn. He came to a stop, then proceeded to pull out in order to turn left onto the highway. Jacob did not see a truck in the other lane that was hidden from view by the truck turning right. As a result, they were T-boned by the oncoming truck on Jacob’s side of the car. They were both wearing their seat belts, but the impact was so strong that they both died on impact. The driver of the truck that struck Jacob was physically unharmed.
Jacob was wearing his seat belt, he was a cautious driver and he was not driving recklessly. Drugs and alcohol were not a factor. But he had a lack of experience being a new driver. The lesson that we have learned and that we hope to share with others, and maybe save lives is this: Are we paying attention when we have a teenager just learning to drive? Or are we just passengers? We need to keep in mind that we are instructors who need to be paying attention 110% of the time. They depend on us to help them make good driving decisions. It doesn’t mean that Jacob’s grandmother was to blame. However, how many accidents could be prevented if we paid closer attention? We cannot bring our son back and do things differently, but we hope and pray that we can all learn from this experience.
We all miss Jacob and wish he was still here with us. He truly touched the hearts of everyone he met. We know that we will see him again and we will be together forever.
The Brown and Santos Family,
Robert, Deanne, Sara, Jessica, Samantha, Isaac, Porter, Connor, and Elizabeth