Family remembers two loved ones killed in crash near Kanab

Mar 23, 2023, 10:19 PM | Updated: Apr 17, 2023, 2:45 pm

WILLARD, Utah  —Family members on Thursday remembered loved ones killed in a triple-fatal crash in Kane County.

Deanna Steggell, 46, and 16-year-old Ceasar “Toni” Castel were returning home from Mexico when their car was struck Tuesday by another vehicle on SR-89 roughly 22 miles southeast of Kanab, relatives said.

Investigators at the time said the other car, a white Honda, lost control in slushy conditions and struck Steggell’s red Nissan Altima head-on.

The impact left Steggell dead at the scene.

Castel was transported to the hospital where he died of his injuries.

A 64-year-old female passenger of the white Honda was also killed, according to Utah Highway Patrol. She was subsequently identified as Smita Patel of Anaheim, Calif.

3 killed in head-on crash in Kane County

“They didn’t deserve to die,” said Sarah Sykes, Steggell’s daughter, during an interview with KSL 5 Thursday evening. “Toni didn’t have his seatbelt on and had he had his seatbelt on, maybe he could still be here today.”

Family members described Steggell and Castel both as having a great sense of humor.

“Our mom loved to make people laugh but Toni—he would dance for you, he would sing for you,” Sykes said. “If you were having a bad day, he did everything in his power to make you happy.”

Toni, the family said, aspired to be a mechanic and had a bright future ahead of him.

“If you asked him what kind of car and stuff, he would tell you what motor it has inside—any car,” the boy’s father, Paulo Castel, said.

Deanna Steggell, 46, and Ceasar "Toni" Castel,16, were returning home from Mexico when their car was struck Tuesday by another vehicle on SR-89 roughly 22 miles southeast of Kanab. (Steggell family) Deanna Steggell, 46, and Ceasar "Toni" Castel,16, were returning home from Mexico when their car was struck Tuesday by another vehicle on SR-89 roughly 22 miles southeast of Kanab. (Steggell family)

Sykes said Toni had been in the process of building his dream car.

“He had his own logo and he was making his merch,” Sykes reflected. “He was doing everything to build his dream.”

The family offered their condolences to the other family involved and urged others to wear seatbelts and to carry life insurance.

Family members said even organizing a proper funeral for their loved ones had been a struggle.

“We always made these kinds of decisions as a family so it feels like a part of our family is gone now—and they are,” Sykes said. “We want to give our mom and our brother the best services, lay them to rest the way they would have wanted and what they deserve.”

The family set up a memorial account at America First Credit Union under the name Castel and number 9126392 with routing number 324377516.

“It’s hard, it’s very hard,” Sykes said. “Hold your loved ones close right now because you never know when it’s going to happen.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Road to Zero

Teens and Jeep mishap...

Andrew Adams

Troopers urge caution after early Memorial Day weekend mishap

Troopers were urging people to be cautious on Utah’s roads ahead of a busy Memorial Day travel weekend following an early mishap in American Fork Canyon that left a teenager seriously injured.

4 days ago

FILE: seatbelt...

Karah Brackin

UHP urging safe driving for Memorial Day weekend

As travelers head into Memorial Day Weekend, troopers are pleading with drivers to wear seatbelts and drive cautiously.

4 days ago

UHP trooper...

Katija Stjepovic

Patience can change Utah’s 100 deadliest days

The 100 days between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day see nearly double the amount of deaths on Utah roads compared to any other part of the year.

5 days ago

Back to Basics campaign urges highway safety...

Katija Stjepovic

‘Back to Basics’ campaign urges drivers to help reduce fatalities

The Utah Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety are urging motorists to stay safe on the roads with a new zero fatalities "Back to Basics" campaign.

6 days ago

Click it or ticket campaign...

Katija Stjepovic

Seat belts save Salt Lake couple, unborn child

Far too many deadly crashes in Utah involve someone not wearing a seatbelt.

11 days ago

Jason Hughes...

Pat Reavy,

Salt Lake man with history of impaired driving charged in fatal motorcycle crash

AMERICAN FORK, Utah — A Salt Lake man with a history of impaired driving was charged Friday with causing a crash that killed a motorcyclist in American Fork. Daniel Lance Foster, 51, is charged in 4th District Court with negligently operating a vehicle resulting in death, a second-degree felony; DUI with prior offenses, a third-degree […]

11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Asian little girl playing arcade game on the computer machines at the shopping mall outlets...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

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.

Close up of an offset printing machine during production...

Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.

Family remembers two loved ones killed in crash near Kanab