Family of 3-year-old killed in 9-car pileup beg drivers to slow down

Mar 10, 2022, 7:23 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:30 pm

WILLARD, Utah — A Willard family is pleading with Utah drivers to slow down, especially in the snow after losing their 3-year-old daughter.

The toddler and her mother crashed after the car in front of them spun out.

Danni Phillips says she does not want any other family to have to go through this. She spent nearly every hour with her disabled daughter and is now trying to figure out life without her. It only takes a few seconds for so much to go wrong.

Phillips says the car in front of her hit the median, and spun into the lanes.

“After the first hit, the cars coming, the headlights…” Phillips said. “I didn’t know which cars were going to hit or which ones weren’t.”

About nine cars were impacted in that crash in all. Her PT Cruiser took the brunt of the damage.

Child killed in multi-vehicle crashes that closed I-15 in Ogden

“I knew my daughter was gone. I knew she was gone,” Phillips said.

Jax Phillips later passed in the hospital.

Darin Tea, Jax’s grandfather, says Jax had multiple surgeries as a newborn, including putting a shunt in her brain.

“She just was so happy, and so smiley and just had that infectious laugh that could just light up a room,” Tea said. “It’s so hard.”

Today, she’s missed by so many friends and family.

“When you’d ask her for a high-five, she’d go, ‘Psych!’ and then she’d go, ‘OK,’ and she’d give you one. She was just so goofy and just herself,” Phillips said.

Now, they’re asking drivers to slow down, especially in the snow. They don’t know what went wrong Wednesday, but they know life is too short to be in a hurry.

“I tried…I tried…” Phillips said. “We don’t want others to go through the same thing, because there’s nothing you can go through that will prepare you for the loss of someone like Jax.”

She encouraged drivers to slow down and come home safely to family. They’re now trying to face this loss.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do now that she’s gone,” Phillips said.

Phillips and her family said they are grateful to the many people on scene that rushed in to try and help. They have a GoFundMe* page up to help with 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 advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Family of 3-year-old killed in 9-car pileup beg drivers to slow down