Family mourns Utah husband, father killed in crash on I-15

UTAH -- A northern Utah family is grieving over the death of a husband and father who died in a crash in Box Elder County Thursday morning.

The Taylor family said Austin Taylor had served for the very department that responded to his death.

Taylor was known for being selfless and devoted.

“That was his ultimate goal in life, was just to help people,” said his sister, Ashlee Tracy.

“I think that's why he chose the career paths that he did,” said one of his other sisters, Morgan Taylor.

Taylor served as a firefighter and EMT for the Brigham City Fire Department as well as for Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.

Most recently his dream was to become a police officer, and his family said he was commuting from his home in Clarkston to the Weber State University Police Academy in Layton.

“I've never seen him so happy in my entire life from when he joined the police academy,” Cassi Cook, his sister, said through tears.

She said Taylor was on his way to the academy Thursday morning, when Utah Highway Patrol said his car slid on ice, crashing into a semi in Box Elder County.

The department that responded, Tracy said, was Brigham City.

“I know that they did everything possible, and I know that it couldn't be easy working on one of your own,” she said.

Tracy said the family is grateful to the department. Taylor’s firefighting family was there for him in his last moments.

“For never leaving his side, and when he needed somebody, he could not have been in better hands than he was that morning," Tracy said.

She said police and fire departments all over have been offering support to his family, a lot of it through a fundraising account.

Taylor leaves behind two little girls, and his wife is pregnant with their third daughter.

They expressed how seeing the support is helping them realize how much Taylor was loved.

“He has to be smiling,” Morgan Taylor said. “I don't even think he knew the love… the impact that he had on people's lives.”

The WSU Police Academy posted about Taylor’s death, saying in part: “Austin was a friend and a leader to his fellow cadets and will be greatly missed.”