Community remembers Taylorsville teen hit and killed while trick-or-treating

Oct 30, 2022, 10:45 PM | Updated: 11:00 pm

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — The Taylorsville community is remembering the life of a 13-year-old boy who died Halloween weekend one year ago.

Karl Finch, who would have turned 14 a week ago, was walking in a crosswalk with a group of friends as they held a crosswalk flag while trick-or-treating, when they were hit by a car with no headlights on.

Dozens gathered for a memorial Sunday afternoon to remember Karl and support his family. Photos and memorabilia filled tables as people looked at happy moments from Karl’s life and some of the things he loved most — from baseball, to making paracord bracelets, to his favorite Halloween candy.

(Lauren Steinbrecher/KSL TV) (Lauren Steinbrecher/KSL TV) (Lauren Steinbrecher/KSL TV) (Lauren Steinbrecher/KSL TV) (Lauren Steinbrecher/KSL TV)

The boys in the trick-or-treating group with Karl the night he died wore bowties because Karl loved bowties. Karl’s friend Kyle Nelson spoke at the memorial, saying he felt Karl has been looking over him.

He, along with Spencer Wall — who was hit with Karl in the crosswalk — shared what things have been like for them.

“This year has been hard, from sports and school,” Kyle said, wiping tears from his eyes.

Jackson Finch, Karl’s 11-year-old brother, also got up and spoke.

“This summer was hard, because…” Jackson said, pausing. “I couldn’t do all the things I wanted without him.” He trailed off as he choked back tears.

Jackson was with Karl a year ago, and remembered how they were telling jokes as they walked around to trick-or-treat.

“We were having a really fun time, until we got to the street,” he said.

A driver hit two of the boys in the crosswalk. Karl died at the ICU, and Spencer suffered critical injuries that his parents said still require the care of many doctors a year later.

Boy dies after being hit by car while trick-or-treating in Taylorsville

While the driver was later charged with misdemeanor charges of having drugs on him, drugs in his system, and driving with a suspended or revoked license — the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office declined to file felony or serious misdemeanor charges.

Instead of looking forward to Halloween, the families are looking back on a year of struggles, including with the justice system.

“I think that one of the hardest things that has happened post-accident is that we have been, I never expected that we would have to fight our lawmakers and current laws in place to try to have justice served,” said Cary Wall, Spencer’s mother.

They’re looking back on a year of heartache, pain, and moments missed without Karl.

Father ‘infuriated’ by DA office’s decision in deadly crosswalk auto-pedestrian collision

“I never realized how much I needed Karl in my life,” Jackson said.

Karl’s father, Jacob Finch, expressed how Sunday was a rough and emotional day for all of them. But he also said it’s amazing to see the impact Karl had on so many people in 13 years, and that it shows in everyone who came out to the memorial.

“We keep his spirit alive just by keeping him alive,” Finch said. “By keeping him in our homes and in our hearts, and there’s just pictures everywhere and his things everywhere, and we talk about him.”

Wall said she’s grateful the Finch family could see the outpouring of love on a week hurtful for their hearts. She said their goal was to let the family know they love them and they will continue to remember Karl.

“We as a community are here to offer you kindness, that we have not forgotten you. We have not forgotten your family,” she said speaking to the crowd and to Karl’s family. “We mourn with you. We love you. We are praying for you, and we will continually be here to offer our love and support always.”

Wall said if she could ask anything of the public, that it would be for them to stay mindful while driving on Halloween while kids are out.

“If you are out driving, that you slow down, and that you are mindful of what’s going on around you, and be looking for children, be expecting that kids are outside. And above all else, I ask that you do not drive impaired. Please don’t drive impaired,” she urged. “I have to wonder how our lives would be different if someone chose differently a year ago.”
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Community remembers Taylorsville teen hit and killed while trick-or-treating