WILLARD, Box Elder County — A 15-year-old boy who friends and school administrators say was a friend to everybody, was killed over the weekend in a crash north of Willard.
Willard police refused to release the boy's name, but friends on Twitter identified him as Jacob Santos. Jacob, who had a learner's permit, was killed Saturday along with his grandmother when their vehicle was broadsided as the young driver attempted to make a left turn.
Jacob, of West Jordan, was driving a Lexus with his 66-year-old grandmother, Ruth Nelson, of Box Elder County, in the passenger seat about 5:30 p.m. He attempted to make a left turn onto U.S. 89 from Highway 315 when a southbound Toyota Tundra rammed into the driver's side of the vehicle, according to Willard police officer Jean Loveland.
Nelson and her grandson died at the scene. The 31-year-old male driver of the Tundra was treated for minor injuries at the Brigham City Community Hospital and released.
Loveland said it appeared the boy failed to yield to a stop sign before making the turn.
The speed limit on U.S. 89 is 55 mph.
On Twitter, friends paid tribute using the hashtag #RIPJacobSantos. Monday would have been Jacob's first day at Copper Hills High School where he would have been a sophomore.
"A member of Grizzly Nation has fallen. Our heartfelt condolences go to the Santos family. Jacob (soph) was taken in an auto accident," tweeted Copper Hills High School.
"Our hearts go out to the family of Jacob Santos. Words cannot explain how devastated we are that we've lost one of our own," tweeted Copper Hills Theatre.
"He was a great friend, and he always had a smile on his face. Thanks for being my Aladdin buddy, Jake," another person tweeted.
Friends encouraged students to wear their Sunday best to school on Monday to honor the teen. Grief counselors were also at the school Monday for anyone who needed them, according to the Jordan School District.
Prior to this school year, Jacob attended West Hills Middle School, 8270 S. Grizzly Way, where by all accounts he was a popular student.
"He was a wonderful young man," Principal Stacy Evans said on Monday. "What all of us here, especially us teachers, loved about him was he was a friend to everyone."
Evans said Jacob could be seated next to any student in a class and make friends with that person. He was also enrolled in honors classes where he achieved academic success, she said.
"He was going to make a big contribution in the future. Now he won't be here to do that," Evans said.
Jacob was also involved with the school musical and theater programs. Evans said he will be missed greatly.
Donations can be made to the Jacob Santos memorial account* his family set up at America First Credit Union.
*KSL.com has not verified the accuracy of the information provided with respect to the account nor does KSL.com assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.