‘He Was So Caring’: Family Remembers Teen Killed In Spanish Fork Crash
Oct 24, 2020, 7:48 PM | Updated: Jul 12, 2023, 6:30 pm
SPANISH FORK, Utah — A Pleasant Grove family said they are heartbroken after their teenage son, brother, nephew and friend was killed by an impaired driver in Spanish Fork.
Landon Wilkerson, 17, was driving to his diesel mechanics class at MTECH on Friday when he was struck head-on by 44-year-old Garrett Harris, who drifted into oncoming traffic while under the influence of drugs.
“He was so caring, so giving,” said Landon’s uncle, Jason Steiner.
“He’s definitely leaving a hole in the hearts of his mom and dad,” said Kristine Jensen, Landon’s aunt. “Landon had a big heart.”
Landon Wilkerson was a senior at Pleasant Grove High School.
“He loved Pleasant Grove. He was a Viking — loved it and was proud of it,” said Steiner.
He was attending classes at MTECH and had a bright future ahead of him. He was working to become a Diesel mechanic.
Family members said Landon often stopped to help those with car trouble. He was known for buying lunch for those who couldn’t afford it.
“He loved his country. He loved being a cowboy — that was Landon,” his uncle said.
Wilkerson was the only one killed in the four-car crash.
The driver, Garret Harris, was booked into the Utah County Jail on multiple charges, including automobile homicide, driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance.
When Landon’s family received the devastating news, their hearts sank.
“It rang three or four times right in a row, and I knew something was wrong,” said Steiner. “She couldn’t even talk, she was just hysterical. My heart just sank into my stomach — it’s heart wrenching.”
Harris has numerous other traffic violations and a criminal history.
The judge released Harris from the Utah County Jail just hours after being booked.
“It’s not okay,” said Jensen.
“We wouldn’t wish this on any family, ever,” said Steiner. “We would just hope that the law will be able to take care of it and not let this happen again.”
Landon’s younger brother, Hayden, wiped away tears as he talked about his brother.
“I loved every second I had with him,” said Hayden.
He said Landon was the ultimate example of kindness and hard work.
“He’s always loved watching me wrestle. I know he would probably want me to go and take State, so that’s what I’m going to try and do just for him.”
Hayden said he will be a little kinder, try a little harder, and be better to honor his big brother who was always looking for the one in need.
“He taught me to always get up, even when you get pushed down,” he said. “He just expressed so much love to everyone.”
The family thanked law enforcement officers with Spanish Fork and Pleasant Grove Police Departments.
Officers in Pleasant Grove stayed with Landon’s mother, so she wouldn’t be alone after notifying her of her son’s passing.
Friends have organized a GoFundMe account to help raise donations for Landon’s memorial and funeral services.
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