Family members of a man critically injured in a 10-car crash in Sandy that police say was caused by a woman who ran a red light while speeding says he is still not able to communicate with them.
However, the family of Sam Beck is also extending their thanks to all those who helped him, as well as expressing their condolences to the family of the driver accused of causing the crash.
About 8:20 a.m. Friday, Sandy police say a Toyota 4Runner heading north on State Street at an "excessive speed" ran a red light at the busy 10600 South intersection and collided with a Ford F-150 being driven by Beck. Family members of Beck's, who set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to help with medical expenses, claim the SUV was traveling close to 100 mph when it ran the red light and broadsided Beck's truck on the driver's side.
The force of the collision then sent the two vehicles into eight other vehicles that were stopped at the traffic signal to go south on State Street.
Marylee Benavidez, 35, of Sandy, the driver of the 4Runner, and a German shepherd that was in her SUV, were both pronounced dead at the scene. Police reported that two other people were taken to local hospitals with serious injuries and several others were treated at the scene for minor injuries.
Beck suffered "head trauma, a fractured neck, two broken arms, a broken clavicle, a broken scapula, a broken fibula and nine broken ribs" and has already undergone multiple surgeries, according to a statement from his family. As of Monday, Beck had not yet been able to communicate with his family.
Still, the family said they are "cautiously optimistic about his recovery and know that he is in goods hands" at Intermountain Medical Center.
"We would like to express our deep condolences to all of those who were involved in the accident, including the driver, Ms. Benavidez and her dog, who both did not survive the accident. We don't claim to know or understand all of the factors that caused this tragic accident. We do, though, have empathy and compassion for those that are struggling with mental health issues and other stresses of life, and pray for them to seek help and obtain the appropriate intervention that could save both their lives and the innocent lives of others," the family posted on the fundraising site.
The family also thanked people who have reached out to them during the difficult time.
"We have felt the many prayers and expressions extended on his behalf from all family, friends, denominations and beliefs. Our faith continues to sustain Sam and our family though this terrible tragedy. We are so grateful and appreciative of the sweet outreach from the entire Ken Garff Team where Sam is employed and where Sam calls it his 'second family and home.' We love our Sam."
Beck's family also thanked the first responders and emergency crews who responded to the crash, and gave a special shoutout to one of the other people involved in the crash, Danon Gibson, of Sandy, who "in spite of his own injuries, reached out to Sam and other victims and offered medical and emotional support between the time the accident occurred and when the first responders arrived.
"It is hard to believe that this happened, but we are so thankful he survived. Sam is the most loving, generous and hard-working guy we know. He is always eager to help and would give the shirt off of his back to anyone in need. Words really cannot express how much Sam means to his family and friends. He is the glue that holds us all together. To know him is to love him," his friends and family wrote.