Family remembers 23-year-old who died in Juab County car crash

Feb 12, 2024, 5:27 PM | Updated: Feb 13, 2024, 7:27 am

Emilee France Barker on her wedding day. France was critically injured in a Juab County car crash a...

Emilee France Barker on her wedding day. France was critically injured in a Juab County car crash and later died in the hospital on Feb. 5, 2024. (Brianna Rosia)

(Brianna Rosia)

NEPHI — A Utah family is remembering their loved one, 23-year-old Emilee Jean France Barker, who died in a car crash that sent five people to the hospital, including a Utah Highway Patrol trooper and a child.

On Feb. 3, a vehicle crashed into a UHP vehicle that was parked on the shoulder of the road at the time of the crash. According to a friend of the France family, a severe hailstorm hit the area, causing the roads to become slick. France Barker’s mother, Christine France, lost control of the vehicle and slid into a moving semitruck, causing the car to spin and hit the UHP patrol vehicle.

One person dies from injuries sustained in weekend crash in Juab County

According to UHP, France and her mother were taken to the hospital in critical condition. Christine France was expected to recover, but France Barker later died from her injuries the following Monday.

France Barker’s sister and young nephew were also in the car and were mostly unharmed.  The trooper was transported and released later the same day, UHP said.

Emilee Jean France Barker (right) with family. (Brianna Rosia) Emilee France Barker on her wedding day. (Brianna Rosia) Emilee France Barker and her husband Chris Barker. (Brianna Rosia)

The France family issued a statement to KSL TV detailing their thoughts of grief, highlighting the fact that she was an organ donor:

We are so grateful for the outpouring of love, support, and prayers shown to our family during this difficult time. The loss of our sweet Emilee is immeasurable. Emilee would have turned 24 on March 10. During her time on this earth, she impacted so many lives, especially through her passion and talent for dance. Emilee was a double Dance and Theatre Production major at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). We will forever be thankful to have been blessed with this beautiful girl who constantly poured out genuine love, kindness, and joy. She will be missed by so many, especially by her family and loving husband, Chris, whom she married last year. Emilee radiated an unshakable faith and valiant passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ. We take great comfort knowing Emilee’s legacy will live on through the gift of organ and tissue donations. True to form, her last act was one of selflessness, saving the lives of many others and impacting their families for generations. Christine has an extensive and long recovery ahead of her, but she is bolstered by the love and support of all her family and dear friends. We have felt the love from so many of you and appreciate your respecting our privacy as we grieve the loss of Emilee and focus on Christine’s recovery. Funeral plans and a benefit event are being organized and will be announced in the coming days.

Garna Mejia contributed to this report. 

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Family remembers 23-year-old who died in Juab County car crash