West Jordan street renamed for 13-year-old killed by drunk driver
Nov 17, 2023, 10:57 PM
WEST JORDAN—Family members converged on a street corner Friday as city workers installed new signs marking the renaming of a street in memory of a 13-year-old boy killed in a crosswalk by a drunk driver.
Thirteen-year-old Eli Mitchell was riding his bike on April 26, 2022, when he was struck.
In recent weeks, relatives had approached the city about renaming 1510 West, the cross street where the collision occurred.
Mayor Dirk Burton said the city council approved the change unanimously and Salt Lake County approved the change as well.
“It just means a lot to us and our family to know that he’ll always be remembered,” Eli’s father, Jeremy Mitchell told KSL 5.
Lisa Mitchell, Eli’s mother, said the ordeal changed their lives forever.
“Our lives will never be the same,” she said. “I’ll be sad every day—like, it’s always sad that Eli’s not here.”
The effort to rename the road touched some of the city workers themselves.
One made an extra sign for the Mitchell family to keep.
“The guy who builds the signs in Public Works, he built the sign and then he came and said ‘I accidentally built an extra sign,’” Burton recalled. “I said, ‘Well, what do you mean?’ ‘Well, I made the signs you need but I made an extra one.’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Well, I also lost a child and I can feel for them.’”
The worker presented the extra sign to Eli’s parents Friday afternoon and was met with an immediate, warm hug and a thank you.
“This not only affects their family—it affects other families,” Burton said.
Eli’s family and their neighbors who also lost their loved one in a crash successfully applied to change the name of their street as well to Joshua Eli Way.
According to family members, those street signs were expected to be installed next week.
The Mitchells said they hoped the signs marked Eli Mitchell Way would cause drivers in the area to think twice about drinking and getting behind the wheel.
“Spare innocent families like us and spare your own family as well,” Jeremy Mitchell said. “Don’t take the risk—it’s not worth it.”