Family mourns the loss of teenage son hit by truck in Summit County

Jan 17, 2023, 10:08 PM | Updated: 10:28 pm

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah — No matter how many writers Hallmark has in its sympathy division, it is still tough to put into words exactly how Briana Jones feels.

“It is the little things,” Jones said. “It is hard to know how to reply to people when you’re going through something.”

When that something is the loss of your teenage son, there are no words.

“I know we have lots of memories and we have done lots of things,” she said. “But you think of all the things you wish you would have done.”

(Stuart Johnson/KSL TV)

Even still, Zander Jones, Briana’s son, did a lot in his 14 years. He loved electronics, video games and cars.

“Oh, he loved cars,” Jones said. “He could tell you so much information about cars.

Zander also loved to ride motorcycles and ATVs. If they went fast, he was all about it.

“He loved 4-wheelers, and he was doing what he loved when he passed away,” she said with tears in her eyes.

(Stuart Johnson/KSL TV)

Last week, Zander and a friend stopped alongside Echo Road in Summit County, between Echo and Henefer, to call his mom as it was getting darker. He shut off his 4-wheeler, which turned off the light. A truck driver passing by didn’t see him until it was too late.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office said the truck driver is cooperating with the investigation, but it appears to be just a tragic accident.

(Stuart Johnson/KSL TV)

“I don’t know if I have any tears left, you know? I have shed them all,” said Doug Wilde, Zander’s grandfather. “I’m going on 63 years old and I never had nothing this tough in my life. I’ve buried parents. It’s horrific to lose a parent, but this is, it doesn’t even compare.”

In an instant, Wilde lost his little buddy. He thought of all the times they spent in his garage and shed, tinkering around, doing all kind of projects.

“He couldn’t wait for me to come home and, ‘Grandpa, what are we going to work on tonight? Grandpa, what are we going to do,’ you know?” Wilde said. “I have 10 grandchildren and they’re all special to me. They’re all my favorite, but Zander, Zee-Man, he was my little buddy.”

The family decided to donate Zander’s organs.

His mother has been a nurse at Primary Children’s Hospital for more than 20 years and understands her little boy can still do so much good.

“He’s not here. He’s helping someone else to have another opportunity to live their life to the fullest,” she said. “I know Zander would have wanted this because he was always helping others.”

(Stuart Johnson/KSL TV)

There are blue and green ribbons along Main Street in Coalville, where the family lives, as well as signs and posters letting the Jones’ know they are loved.

“I think it has brought all of us who live here closer,” said Zoey Jones, one of Zander’s two sisters. “I feel like that is one of the things that’s helping us right now, and sometimes, it can feel overwhelming, but my mom likes to say it’s better to have people over than to be here alone.”

The family certainly is not alone.

“We have all those flowers showing up and cards and food. Oh, my goodness, we have so much food,” Briana said.

(Stuart Johnson/KSL TV) (Stuart Johnson/KSL TV) (Stuart Johnson/KSL TV) (Stuart Johnson/KSL TV) (Stuart Johnson/KSL TV) (Stuart Johnson/KSL TV) (Stuart Johnson/KSL TV)

The family still plans on visiting Disneyland next month. Zander was looking forward to that trip.

The family says they will still include him in all the fun things yet to do.

“We always will,” his mother said. “We’ll just have to carry him in our hearts and do those for him.”

Funeral services for Zander are set for 11 a.m. at the Coalville Stake Center in Coalville. Instead of flowers, the family is asking for donations to Primary Children’s Hospital to help other kids in need.

You also help the family with funeral expenses by donating to this Venmo account* set up by one of Briana Jones’ friends.

*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 ri

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Family mourns the loss of teenage son hit by truck in Summit County