California doctor, daughter severely injured while stopping to help at Tooele County crash

Nov 13, 2023, 10:10 PM | Updated: Nov 14, 2023, 1:02 pm

SALT LAKE CITY –– Family members say two loved ones are facing a long road to recovery after a chain reaction crash in Tooele County left them severely injured.

88-year-old Dr. Ronald Cornelsen, of Huntington Beach, Calif., and his daughter Heather and her husband were planning to overnight in Salt Lake City on a trip to Iowa when they stopped to help at the scene of a crash on I-80 near milepost 81 in Tooele County

Two people seriously injured in multi-vehicle crash in Tooele County

“The urge to help others and make sure everyone was safe overtook any doubt that they had,” said another of Cornelsen’s daughters, Megan Kiklas, in an interview with KSL TV on Monday. “As they were approaching the car, they just heard the loudest bang and a semi truck hit one of the vehicles involved in the accident and that rolled over my dad. It threw my sister over the side railing.”

Kiklas said her sister took the brunt of the collision to her face.

“They had to remove her eye because of the trauma, she has no mandible,” Kiklas said. “They just did surgery last night to repair that and put in a plate.”

Cornelsen, meanwhile also suffered extensive injuries.

“My dad sustained a broken tibia/fibia open fracture,” Kiklas explained. “He has three cracks in his pelvis, two broken, separated ribs, and then head trauma as well as acute kidney injuries.”

Facing significant costs to transport Cornelsen back to California and provide care over the next several months, family members created a GoFundMe account.

They said the longtime pediatrician has always gone out of his way to help others.

“His mission in life is to serve others and to take care of others,” Kiklas said. “He would still help in a heartbeat.”

Family members said that was the message he hoped to convey to others through the story — to do whatever they could to make a difference for others.

“He’s so thankful that he survived, that everyone was safe,” Kiklas said. “(He is) just making sure we are all doing our best to help others, but in a very safe way.”

*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 risk.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Axel Thomas Peterson and his father Matthew Peterson placing flags on veteran graves at the Larkin ...

Kiersten Nunez

Honoring Veterans: 3,000 flags placed by youth volunteers

In a heartfelt tribute to the men and women who have served the country, more than 200 youth volunteers from around the Salt Lake Valley gathered to honor military veterans ahead of Memorial Day.

2 hours ago

Joan Eccles and her mother were gifted matching engraved charms. Once lost, Eccles has found the mi...

Andrew Adams

St. George family believes they found long lost charm on eBay

A St. George woman was reunited with a lost family charm in an unexpected place on the internet.

2 hours ago

A yearling bull moose was found in a neighborhood in the foothills of Ogden. (Courtesy: Crey Maxey)...

Carlysle Price

Moose found on homeowner’s porch, what to do if this happens to you

A yearling bull moose was found on a homeowner's front porch Thursday and was safely relocated by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

5 hours ago

The male driver of a silver sedan who police believe had their car stolen by the man accused of kil...

Michael Houck and Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

Police searching for man targeted by suspect in Sgt. Bill Hooser’s death

Police are looking for a man whose car was attempted to be stolen at a gas station by the man accused of killing Sgt. Bill Hooser.

5 hours ago

The Audi after it was hit by an SUV on May 12....

Carlysle Price

Man facing six charges after car accident that injured two

A man was charged Thursday in connection to a car accident on May 12 that injured two.

6 hours ago

A basketball hoop at the Adaptive Arena in Bluffdale, which is a gym made for kids with some disabi...

Alex Cabrero

Get In The Games: Adaptive Arena welcomes kids with disabilities to play sports

A new gym is welcoming kids with a disability to play sports that are specifically designed for their needs.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

California doctor, daughter severely injured while stopping to help at Tooele County crash