Vigil held for man killed in wrong-way crash involving driver who may have been intoxicated

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TAYLORSVILLE, Utah -- A vigil was held Sunday night at Taylorsville Park to remember a West Jordan man who was killed during a head on collision in Fillmore on Wednesday.

Larry Martin was driving along 1-15 with two passengers, when a teenager in a Jeep Grand Cherokee, going the wrong way, ran right into him.

Kaela Hernandez, 27, of America Fork, was in the back seat of Martin's car. She was also killed.

Martin's brother, Joseph Martin, was in the passenger seat. He survived the crash and is recovering in the hospital.

The driver of the Jeep, 18-year-old Jessie Wilkerson, of St. George, later died in the hospital. Police said they received reports of a Jeep driving erratically prior to the crash. They also found a bottle of alcohol behind the driver' seat--a few signs of possible intoxication.

"You still have a lot of anger and a lot of questions as to why," said Anthony Gale, a friend who attended the vigil.

Friends said the hardest part about accepting Martin's death is knowing that it could have easily been prevented.

"You know what, this is a huge group of people and this is just one accident, you get these accidents and they happen daily so this is compounded by hundreds, thousands of families a year," said Skyler Talbot, another friend who attended.

Talbot said the purpose of the vigil wasn't just to remember their friends, but also remind others of the dangers of drinking and driving.

"I know that I'll certainly be more of an advocate against drinking and driving, not that I haven't in the past, but until you are affected personally by it I think it definitely hits home and you want to do more to educate others on it," Talbot said.

Almost everyone at the vigil wore T-shirts with Martin's picture on them. There was also a candlelight vigil and a balloon release in his memory.

"He was just amazing, he was the most genuine, caring person that I ever met my entire life, he just had the hugest heart," said √Član Matotek.

Whether or not Wilkerson was intoxicated is still under investigation. That information will be released as part of the autopsy report.


  • Bob

    This is why there should be a zero tolerance policy for driving under the influence and why people who are caught doing so should be shot upon conviction. So many lives needlessly cut short so irresponsible people can drive messed up. What a waste of humanity – at least this piece of filth didn’t survive – it’s just a shame she took two innocent people with her, which tends to be the case.

    • Zoe

      How dare you. You need to have some compassion, and forgiveness for her grieving family. You need to have some respect.

      • Kinetica

        Speaking of respect, where was Jessie’s respect for others when she decided to speed in the wrong direction while DUI, killing herself and two other people in the process? Where was her compassion for not putting the lives of others at risk due to her selfish decisions? Sorry but if somebody is going to be that careless they don’t deserve any respect, and their passing thankfully means they can no longer harm/kill anybody else with their poor decisions. Thoughts go out to the Martin and Hernandez, please people stop getting behind the wheel when you’re sloshed.


        Perhaps this 18 year old girl should have some respect for the lives she chose to take. It is against the law for 18 year olds to drink and she decided it might be a good idea to disobey the law.


    The 18 year old drive was too young to drink. Many people will now pay the price for her drunken behavior.

  • afriendofthemartins

    I just wanted tomake a quick comment and forgiveme if I offend anyone. I have no intent to start a argument. I new the Martins growing up. they lived in the same neighborhood as me. there family attended the same high school as my family. every year on halloween for the longest until his parents got split they would do a haunted house for with a price of a can of food for the food bank. I went to scout camp and youth conference as well as amultitude of other community events withall of them including Larryand it is just ….sad. Any loss of life is sad. This young lady, who mind you will never have kids, never get married, never go to college. Made a mistake, a horrible destructive mistake one that she will have to face in front of he maker. But that is her responsibility. Yes it is ours to make sure that the younger generation is better educated that they have access to all the facts and information so that they know how deadly of a choice this is. However the choice is not ours. If we spend this time hating her for what she has done than we dishonor Larry’s Memories as well as the memories of Ms. Hern√°ndez. one mistake does not define whoa person was, but it can define what a generation is. In the end we should have and show respect for all those involved because the loss of life is unwarranted and quite regrettable. My condolences to the deceased. and my best wishes to the Families involved.

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