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KSL TV, File

Man killed in Sandy identified; close friend pays tribute

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Jul 10th, 2018 @ 1:30pm



SANDY — Sandy police have identified a man hit and killed while crossing the road over the weekend.

Bryan Howlett, 54, was hit about 9:25 p.m. Saturday on 9000 South near 400 East by a 67-year-old woman, said Sandy Police Sgt. Jason Nielsen. Howlett was not in a crosswalk. The driver was not believed to be impaired, he said.

Police said at the time of the accident that Howlett was homeless. But a longtime friend took to Facebook to pay tribute to a man who was a Marine and comedy writer.

Local radio personality Cory Draper said he first met Howlett at Alta High School in 1982. After he got out of the Marines, Howlett changed his name to Matt Vance, Draper posted. But he referred to his friend, and producer of his radio shows, as "Mr. Clean."

"Matt was an excellent comedy writer," Draper said. "Some of the best radio I've ever done was with Matt at my side. He was an expert at booking interviews, quick impressions during a live show, or funny commentary about current events."

Draper said Howlett loved riding his Harley-Davidson and was devastated when he could no longer ride due to health issues.

"He was wheelchair bound for a long time, and was in the hospital many times," he said. "Seven months ago, Matt was strong enough to start walking with canes again, no more wheelchair."

Draper said his friend was wearing dark clothing on Saturday as he crossed the street.

"Everyone in Utah knew when Matt was on-air, his voice very distinct. Matt told me several times his passion was to be a comedy writer on Saturday Night Live or a TV sitcom," Draper wrote.

"There are no plans for a public funeral at this time, just a small get-together for family. Matt wanted to be cremated with his ashes sprinkled in the ocean. I'd be honored to take him to Cabo, Mexico, and sprinkle away."

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Updated: Tuesday August 21, 2018 7:13 am