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Crash victim’s family searching for answers

WEST JORDAN, Utah — It was a long and difficult weekend for a West Jordan family after their 19-year-old son died in a car crash early Friday morning. Now, they’re asking for the community’s support.

The family is hoping witnesses or businesses with surveillance video can help them understand what happened.

The family just arrived here from Venezuela and their son was working the night shift at a factory. He wasn’t even a mile down the road when the crash happened.

The frontage road on 2100 South near 3300 West held a promising future for the Villegas family.

Less than a quarter of a mile from the area, their oldest son landed his first job in America. The family just moved to West Jordan from Venezuela less than two months ago.

But on Friday morning their hopes were shattered.

One killed in Salt Lake City crash

Salt Lake City police say a call came in around 6:15 a.m. a passerby reported a car wrapped around a tree.

“(Responding officers) found a male driver inside, deceased,” said Detective Keith Horrocks on Friday morning.

The driver was Reyner Antonio Chavez-Velasco, according to his parents Wuaicksymaro Velasco and Adrian Villegas. Chavez-Velasco’s parents say he had just turned 19 in October.

“He was so happy to come to this country- to thrive,” said Wuaicksymaro Velasco, Chavez-Velasco’s mom.

Chavez-Velasco’s parents say his dream was to finish his degree in electrical engineering but first he wanted to help his family get on their feet. He was really happy with his night job at a factory where he was recently promoted.

Salt Lake City police’s Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team was on the scene Friday morning to determine the cause and time of the crash.

“It’s hard to say, but it does look like the person has been here for several hours, at least,” said Horrocks.

But Chavez-Velasco’s parents say something isn’t adding up. They said their son clocked out of work at 5:55 a.m. just 20 minutes before the crash was reported.

They also believe Reyner was wearing his seatbelt and wasn’t driving under the influence.

“The crash left the car looking so strange, that I don’t know,” said Wuaicksymaro Velasco.

Reyner’s parents think there’s a possibility a second vehicle was somehow involved in the crash.

“If you told me he fell asleep on the wheel, fine. But he was just down the street from work, how could he fall asleep that fast?” said Wuaicksymaro Velasco.

It’s why they’re hopeful anyone with information or surveillance video can help them put the pieces together.

On Sunday, Salt Lake City police said their investigation is ongoing, but they checked with local businesses for surveillance video.

They’re asking anyone who witnessed the crash to give them a call at 801-799-3000 and reference case No. 21-213235.

They’re echoing the family’s call. If you witnessed the crash or have any surveillance video, please contact police.

They say it would be strange if he fell asleep on the road because his work is just up the road.

A GoFundMe* has also been created to help the family cover funeral expenses.


*KSL-TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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