Utah woman dies in Canada after car accident while traveling to family funeral

Mar 12, 2024, 6:01 PM | Updated: Mar 13, 2024, 9:12 am

SYRACUSE — A Syracuse family is mourning the loss of their daughter after a tragic accident in Canada involving deer jumping onto the road.

Greg and Marlena Bellon said their daughter Julia Bellon Alston, 26, was full of light and loved music.

“She is everybody’s best friend,” Marlena Bellon said.

Julia Bellon Alston was killed in a car crash in Canada when a group of deer ran into the road.

Julia Bellon Alston was killed in a car crash in Canada when a group of deer ran into the road. (Courtesy: Bellon family)

“She was one of those that was always the peacemaker,” Greg Bellon said.

On Thursday, Julia Alston and her husband, Brooks Alston, were driving to Canada for his grandmother’s funeral. But in an instant, their lives changed course.

“I don’t think that they were too far from where they were trying to get to,” Greg Bellon said. “Five, 10, eight deer came jumping off the side of the road and right into their path.”

According to Canadian news outlet the Calgary Herald, the incident happened around 7:30 p.m. on Highway 4 just north of Warner, Alberta.

“They were trying to avoid deer. One was struck, and then that put them right in the path of the semi that was coming up behind them, and he hit them from behind,” Greg Bellon said.

The car was pushed off the road into a ditch, seriously injuring Julia Alston, who was in the passenger’s seat. Brooke Alston survived with minor injuries, but Julia Alston was flown to a hospital in Calgary.

“The doctors told us that it was immediate — the impact, it was such a hard whiplash,” Marlena Bellon said.

Julia Alston’s parents and siblings rushed to be by her side, where they learned she had no brain activity. She died Saturday night.

“My heart is broken. It’s still broken,” Greg Bellon said. “If I didn’t have the beliefs that I believe in, this would be that much harder.”

Julia Bellon Alston with her husband, Brooks Alston. (Courtesy: Bellon family)

As they grieve her loss, Julia Alston’s parents can’t help expressing gratitude for the outpouring of community support and help getting them to Canada in time to say goodbye to their daughter and sister.

According to the Bellons, when a neighbor learned that their son wouldn’t be able to get on a flight because he didn’t have a passport, they stepped in to drive him so he could join the rest of his family.

“It’s amazing how much good and wonderful things have come out of such a hard, hard tragedy,” Marlena Bellon said. “Everybody else has just supported us so much.”

A GoFundMe* is available to help the family.

*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.

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Utah woman dies in Canada after car accident while traveling to family funeral