Woman killed in motorcycle crash after being T-boned by car, police say

Aug 7, 2023, 3:24 PM | Updated: Aug 8, 2023, 6:23 pm

WASTACH COUNTY, Utah — Two motorcyclists were sent to the hospital after being T-boned by a car on Thursday, according to police.

“We saw the life flight go, and I said, ‘Oh gosh, I wonder what happened,” Cindy Del Francia told KSL TV.

Francia said she is close family friends with Jeff and Melinda Romney, the couple who was involved in the accident.

Utah Highway Patrol’s Sgt. Cameron Roden said the crash happened on the state Route 32 and Highway 40 intersection at approximately 7:28 p.m.

The scene of the fatal accident on Thursday in Heber, Utah. (Utah Highway Patrol) The scene of the fatal accident on Thursday in Heber, Utah. (Utah Highway Patrol)

Roden said a gray Honda was crossing the intersection when it T-boned the motorcycle. He said a man and a woman on the motorcycle were transported by a medical helicopter in critical condition.

On Monday, he confirmed Melinda Romney, 53, from Wasatch County, had passed away.

“This still hasn’t hit me that this is really real, that I can’t call my friend up and talk about things or go walk up Memorial Hill,” Del Francia said.

Cindy Del Francia (left), with the deceased Melinda Romney (right). (Courtesy: Cindy Del Francia)

Family friends said Jeff is still in the hospital in a medically induced coma.

“There’s a few that are saying it’s not a good chance, and there’s others, like myself, who are hanging on for hope that he’ll be able to be reunited with his kids,” Greg Trimble said.

Trimble got to know Jeff through their work in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Jeff was one of the first guys I met, and as always, he just had nothing but smiles and welcoming,” he said. “I was able to work with him in a young men’s program for several years.”

Jeff Romney with friends (Courtesy: Greg Trimble)

Trimble said the couple complemented each other; they had the same infectious energy.

“Jeff and Melinda, they did everything together,” Trimble said. “They were always together, and they always had their family together, both their kids.”

He said the couple had two children together.

“I miss her, and I want her girls to be okay, and I feel sad that they won’t have this wonderful person in their life anymore, but I think she’ll watch over them, and I hope the best for their dad, Del Francia said.

She said Melinda was extremely community-oriented and made new neighbors feel at home.

“She’s just such a bubbly, friendly person.” Del Francia said. “She was very service oriented. She was always the one to show up at anyone’s door when they needed help.”

Messages and notes on Romney’s front door. (KSLTV)

The couple loved spending time outdoors.

“Melinda played tennis, she was really good, she was on the national level. Jeff was her instructor and helped her,” Del Francia said.

Trimble said Jeff is known for his endless amounts of energy.

“A couple of weeks ago, I’m walking up the mountain on a hike, and he’s coming down the mountain on a bike, and he passes me super fast, and he actually turns around, stops, gets off his bike, and walks back up to the top of the hill with me,” Trimble said. “That’s just how he was.”

Their community mourns Melinda’s life and waits to see if her husband can recover.

“Hoping for a miracle with Jeff,” Del Francia said.

UHP said they’re investigating if speed was a factor in the crash. They said there are no indications anyone involved was driving at extreme speeds. They said helmets were at the scene, but there is no indication the Romneys were wearing them.

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Woman killed in motorcycle crash after being T-boned by car, police say