Piping accident kills 18-year-old girl in Emery County
Kirsten Begley, 18, died as a result of the crash, leaving her family “devastated,” a GoFundMe fundraiser said.
“Kirsten was a friend to everyone,” the family told FOX 13 News. “She was always smiling and had a great sense of humor! Kirsten would light up any room she entered. She was kind, compassionate and the best listener. She was also always ready to go on an adventure.”
Officials with the Emery County Sheriff’s Office reported that the pipe accident occurred just after noon Saturday at a popular location west of Cleveland Reservoir in Huntington Canyon.
Officials said Bigley was on a train with a friend and was traveling too fast to stop at the bottom of the hill.
As the friend exited the tube onto a snowy hillside, Begley remained on the tube “as he drove over the snow berm on the shoulder of State Route 31 and came to rest on the road,” officials said.
Bigley was pronounced dead at the scene.
Begley was with her friends at a daily activity before the school dance, the family said.
“She was on the drill team all four years of high school, and this year she was captain of the drill team. She was very passionate about dancing,” the family shared. “She was also a great leader for her teammates and truly loved her team.”
Students in the Emery County School District wore pink Monday to remember Begley. The photos show students at Emery High School, where Begley attended, with their hands in the shape of hearts to honor the lives of their classmates.
The Emery School District said high school administrators and counselors met Monday with Begley’s teammates on the school’s coaching staff and student council, along with students who were with Kirsten at the time of the accident.
“Emery County is of course a small, tight-knit community and a tragedy like this impacts everyone,” the district wrote in a statement. “It was heartwarming and a testament to the kindness of people, especially young people, across Utah. Emery High School also felt the outpouring of love and care expressed by so many schools across the state.”
Beagley’s loss has been felt throughout the close-knit Castle Dale community, with community members and loved ones donating more than $11,000 to help the family with funeral expenses.
“The loss is very sad for everyone involved and now all of her friends and family will be attending her funeral on the same day as the dance the activity was for,” a GoFundMe fundraiser read. “It’s heartbreaking.”
“Kirsten was a lively, dear young soul who brought joy to everyone around her,” the family said. “Her sudden passing has left us all saddened.”