Layton classmates mourn crash victim Rachel Vigil

Hundreds of Layton High students wear Sunday best to honor teen who was killed

Published: Thursday, Dec. 3 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

LAYTON — When teenager Rachel Vigil died Tuesday night, Layton High School lost an "absolutely outstanding student," a junior class officer and a friend to many, school officials said.

Over a third of the school's approximately 1,700 students dressed in their Sunday best Wednesday to honor the 16-year-old. Some students also planned to set up a memorial to Vigil at her locker, said Davis School District spokesman Chris Williams.

Vigil died Tuesday in a four-car crash at the intersection of U.S. 89 and 200 North in Kaysville after her car swerved into a sport utility vehicle before spinning into oncoming traffic, where she was struck by two trucks heading south. Despite efforts to resuscitate her, she died at the scene, police said.

Davis County brought in nine additional counselors as part of a 14-person "crisis team" especially trained to deal with grief. Williams said all of the counselors have been aiding a "steady flow of students" who are struggling with Vigil's death, which was announced at the school Wednesday morning.

"The mood of the school is sad, but the students are finding comfort in being together and having time to talk about Rachel and all the good things she's done," Williams said. "They're also trying to come up with ways to help the family. Students typically try to make something good out of something that's an absolutely tragic situation."

Vigil took honors and advanced-placement classes, had many friends and was "very well thought of," he said.

"There are some teachers who are apparently having as hard of a time as the students are having," Williams said. "One veteran teacher even made the comment that 'of all the kids I've taught, she was the best student I've ever had.' "

Vigil would have graduated in 2011.

Police said they do not believe alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash and the Utah Highway Patrol is still investigating what caused the accident. They still have no real indication of what caused Vigil to swerve the way she did, but they are considering all possibilities, said UHP trooper Cameron Roden.

Two of the other three drivers involved in the crash were treated for minor injuries at area hospitals and were later released.

Rachel's brother-in-law Danny Call said the family is just trying to "stand together right now." He said Rachel' s brother returned from an LDS mission to Peru Wednesday, which was "interesting" in light of Rachel's death.

Call said that Rachel was an amazing person who got along with everyone. "She was just perfect," he said.

Two viewings have been scheduled before a funeral Saturday. The first will be held Friday, Dec. 4 from 5-8 p.m. at Lundquist Mortuary in Layton, located at 1867 North Fairfield Road. The second will take Saturday, Dec. 5, from 12:30-1:30 p.m. at the Crestwood Stake Center in Kaysville, located at 855 East Mutton Hollow Road. The funeral will also take place at the stake center and will begin at 2 p.m.

The family is asking that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to an account in Rachel Vigil's name at America First Credit Union. Donations will then be given to "various causes that Rachel cared about," Call said.

e-mail: emorgan@desnews.com

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