Rival high schools show their support for Utah teen killed in car crash

Oct 4, 2022, 7:55 PM | Updated: Oct 5, 2022, 4:07 pm

DELTA, Utah – A father who recently lost his daughter in a car crash wants to express his gratitude. He’s touched that several rival high schools across central Utah put aside their differences to honor Oakley Shiner, 17.

Jesse Shiner called his daughter a “great dancer” who was “super smart” and “loved being a big sister,” “just everything you’d want out of a child.” She was a senior at Delta High School who also worked the front desk at a local hotel.

The father said she was in the passenger seat of a friend’s car on Saturday when another car hit them. Both vehicles ended up in the ditch. Oakley was taken to Delta Community Hospital and then to Utah Valley Hospital by air ambulance. Doctors kept her alive so that family members could say goodbye.

“Everyone got to tell her how much we love her,” Jesse Shiner said, “and we know she was able to hear us at least.”

On Monday, Delta High School dressed in their customary red to recognize the loss, but Shiner was not expecting the school’s rivals Millard High School and North Sanpete High School to do the same.

“It looked as if the entire schools were participating,” he said. “North Sanpete wears red the majority of the time, but Millard doesn’t and so it was really cool to see that.”

Both schools posted photos on social media showing hundreds of students in red, with Millard High School writing: “MHS sends our love to DHS and Oakley’s loved ones.”

The father said he was “grateful for the gesture,” acknowledging it’s worth making time for kindness in this busy world.

Jesse Shiner said the intersection where the crash happened – 1500 S, Lonetree Road, outside Delta – has a past. He actually crashed there himself while picking up his prom date decades ago. He’s known three people who’ve died at that intersection, including a coach when he was in sixth grade.

“It’s become a well-known spot,” he said. “This is a dangerous little intersection.”

He’s not sure what can be done about the intersection but would like traffic safety experts to take a closer look. Traffic heading north and south keeps moving, while vehicles heading east and west on the gravel road have stop signs.

Oakley’s friend and the other driver are healthy and on the mend, he said.

“I just hope they know there’s no ill feelings towards them,” Jesse Shiner said. “Accidents happen. It’s just unfortunate for Oakley’s sake.”

He’s heard of other groups showing support for his daughter, and he’s thankful for those efforts, too.

“As a parent, that’s what you want for your children is to know that they’re loved and supported,” he said, “and I know Oakley knows.”

She was just one month shy of her eighteenth birthday. Funeral services for Oakley will be held Saturday morning, and she’ll be buried in the Delta City Cemetery. Additional details are available on the Nickle Mortuary website.

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Rival high schools show their support for Utah teen killed in car crash