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Neighborhood Rallies Around Car Accident Victims

Neighborhood Rallies Around Car Accident Victims

Posted - Feb. 24, 2004 at 5:34 p.m.



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Jed Boal ReportingA West Valley City neighborhood has come together to lend support to a family going through tremendous grief. Four members of the extended family were hurt and another killed while the family was driving to Colorado for a funeral.

Friends and neighbors still struggle to grasp the grief of the Barkely family of West Valley City.

Diann Jeppson, Neighbor: “The devastation to this family has been tremendous."

They started a memorial at the grandparents' home and opened a fund to help the family with soaring emergency costs.

On Thursday, the extended Barkley family was driving to Colorado in two cars for a funeral of the great-grandmother. Two adult children, Christine and Sandy Barkley, were traveling with 13-year-old Alex and two younger boys.

The SUV hit patch of ice near Rock Springs, spun across the median into oncoming traffic and slammed into a semi. Several were thrown from the SUV, Alex was killed on impact.

The young boys were flown to Primary Children's Hospital with serious injuries. Christine Barkley, Alex's mother and the driver broke two vertebrae in her neck.

The close-knit community was stunned.

Diann Jeppson, Neighbor: “So many members of the family were involved, and they've lived in this neighborhood for several decades."

Alex was a good friend to children in the neighborhood.

Diann Jeppson, Neighbor: “Alex was just a real angel, she was just a little lamb."

Leah Jeppson remembers a kind card Alex gave her when she was sick, so she made a card for Alex, to express troublesome feelings.

Patsy Peterson, Neighbor: “When something happens to your neighbors, when something bad happens to someone you know, it happens to all of us."

So the neighborhood pulls together as they are reminded to treasure the moments they have with their children. Neighbors have started a fund for Alex Barkley in her name at America First Credit Union, which has branches in Harmon's Food stores.

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