Special Christmas tree pays tribute to teen hit, killed while riding bike

Nov 30, 2022, 6:01 PM | Updated: Dec 1, 2022, 4:16 pm

SANDY, Utah — Of all the trees to see at the Festival of Trees, the one decorated with everything Harry Potter means the world to Emma Mitchell.

“There is just all this stuff on here that he loved,” she said.

Her younger brother, Eli, was one of the biggest Harry Potter fans out there.

“Eli read all the Harry Potter books like 15 times,” she said with a laugh. “He would read them in the car and everywhere.”

However, even though she admits she hasn’t really followed Harry Potter’s adventures, Emma Mitchell knows not even the strongest wizard could bring Eli back.

“He passed away when he was hit by a drunk driver in April,” she said.

Eli Mitchell was only 13 years old when that driver hit him while he was riding his bicycle in West Jordan.

The family knew this Christmas was going to be a tough one.

“It’s easy to feel alone at this time because it is the first time he’s not here with us on the holidays,” Emma Mitchell said.

So, to let the Mitchell family know they’re not alone, friends and other family members, as well as people in their community, made the Harry Potter tree in honor of Eli.

(Winston Armani/KSL TV) (Winston Armani/KSL TV) (Winston Armani/KSL TV) (Winston Armani/KSL TV) (Winston Armani/KSL TV) (Winston Armani/KSL TV) (Winston Armani/KSL TV)

“It just reminds me of Eli every little bit,” Lisa Mitchell, who is Eli’s mother, said.

The first time she saw it, Lisa Mitchell could barely hold back her tears.

“I can’t explain how it feels to lose your child. I can’t explain it,” she said. “But since that has happened, I just really wanted good to come.”

There is no doubt this Harry Potter tree will do good.

Money raised from selling trees during the Festival of Trees goes to help kids at Primary Children’s Hospital.

“It is way cool that people would care enough to do this,” Jeremy Mitchell, Eli’s father said.

Emma Mitchell said her brother would love this tree.

Even more, though, she believes he would love how it has brought people closer during difficult times and circumstances.

“When people come together to help you, it really means so much and it helps you get through these hard times,” she said. “He was my best friend, and he is still my best friend.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

One the of climbers in the training camp climbing a wall. (KSL-TV's Alex Cabrero)...
Alex Cabrero

USA Climbing Camp for Paris 2024 begins in Salt Lake City

As the Summer 2024 Olympic Games draws closer, those athletes looking to participate begin their training. 
19 hours ago
The large herd of about 60 elk near the mouth of Parley's Canyon on Thursday. (Utah Department of W...
Michael Houck

DWR officials warn of migrating elk entering Salt Lake City

A migrating herd of approximately 60 elk is causing problems for residents and drivers near the mouth of Parley's Canyon.
19 hours ago
Former longtime Murray Mayor Dan Snarr is photographed on Dec. 13, 2013. Snarr, 73, was charged Thu...
Pat Reavy

Former Murray mayor accused of spitting in driver’s face in road rage case

The former longtime mayor of Murray has been charged with spitting in the face of another driver during a road rage incident.
19 hours ago
Handcuffs in a jail cell FILE PHOTO (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...
Pat Reavy

Sandy man threatened to kill parents after shooting TVs, police say

A Sandy man was charged Friday with shooting two televisions and threatening to kill his parents and go on a killing spree.
19 hours ago

West Jordan man arrested in child porn, voyeurism investigation

A man who described himself to police as being highly skilled with computers has been arrested for allegedly possessing child porn and placing hidden cameras in his home.
19 hours ago
A former administrator of a popular Facebook group used for inviting singles to parties was ordered...

West Jordan man ordered to stand trial in sexual assaults at party for singles

A former administrator of a popular Facebook group used for inviting singles to parties and other events was ordered Friday to stand trial on multiple charges of rape and sexual abuse.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t Let a Ransomware Attack Get You Down | Protect Your Workplace Today with Cyber Insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Special Christmas tree pays tribute to teen hit, killed while riding bike