EAGLE MOUNTAIN — As the family of an 18-year-old son killed in a head-on crash in Eagle Mountain mourn the loss of their loved one, they are also asking for people to pray for the family of the man that caused the tragedy, saying they hold no ill will toward him.
"We can't imagine the guilt and pain he is feeling. We hold no hard feelings and we love that family!" Lane Olsen, father of Simon Olsen, 18, said on his Facebook page. "This is not easy for any of us, but through God and faith we will get through this most trying time in our lives."
Wednesday night, Lane Olsen, posted a powerful message on his Facebook page regarding what happened earlier that day.
"Today has been the worst day of my life! No parent should have to bury their child," he said.
Simon Olsen and Hailie Leeann Godfrey, 18, both from Eagle Mountain, were in a Ford Focus when they were struck head-on at the intersection of state Route 73 and Ranches Parkway by a Ford F-250 that drifted over the center line about 2 a.m. Wednesday. Investigators say the dating couple died on impact.
The 20-year-old driver of the truck, who received a minor injury, told deputies he did not remember what happened. There was no immediate evidence of drugs or alcohol being factors. Investigators were looking Wednesday at the possibility of drowsy driving. As of Thursday, the driver had not been arrested nor charged.
In the second sentence of Lane Olsen's Facebook post, he says his heart goes out to the young man involved in the crash, who had just returned home from his LDS mission the week before.
"What is crazy about this accident is that we know their family very well, his father was my Assistant basketball coach for AAU, we coached together for 5 years and former bishop (sic). (His) older son played on the High School team with my son Chandler and they were best friends," he wrote.
"I spoke to his father … and he says that he is devastated and their family is feeling the same pain and sadness," Olsen continued.
Olsen said Simon's brothers and sisters also want the man who caused the accident to know that they forgive him.
"This is what Simon would of (sic) wanted, he loved everyone and would want everyone to be laughing and have no anger. I'm sure Simon would say 'Guys relax I will you see all very soon, I'm skydiving in Heaven and practicing my basketball skills.' I'm humbled by the power of forgiveness for this is the only way to heal and move forward," Lane Olsen wrote.
Simon's organs were harvested to help 30 people, his father said.
Olsen would have begun his senior year at Westlake High in Saratoga Springs on Monday. Hailie Godfrey graduated this year from Westlake High School, where she was on the drill team.
Lane Olsen said it is through the power of the thoughts and prayers from so many people who have reached out to his family, that they are able to cope with the tragedy.
"Some people say that there is no God, others say we will not have an afterlife. But I CHOOSE to BELIEVE, I CHOOSE to be HAPPY, I CHOOSE to live my life through my son. And I CHOOSE one day to embrace my son and cry tears of joy," he wrote.