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Two killed in motorcycle accident in Provo Canyon

Published: Sunday, July 8 2012 7:30 p.m. MDT

OREM — Two Mountain View High School graduates were killed Sunday in an early morning motorcycle accident in Provo Canyon.

Police say David C. Cancilla, 23, and Janet Velasco, 18, both of Orem, died after being thrown from the motorcycle they were riding about 4:25 a.m. on a section of state Route 189 that is under construction.

The southbound lanes are closed in the area, and the northbound lanes are divided by a cable barrier, with one lane designated for northbound traffic and another for southbound motorists.

The motorcyclists were traveling south, headed downhill, when the bike veered into the cable barrier on a curve, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Lawrence Hopper said. The riders were thrown from the bike and were killed on impact, he said.

Cancilla also attended Utah Valley University and served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The Cancilla family released the following statement Sunday evening:

"To all of our friends and family: Thank you for your love and support and prayers. This morning we lost a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, cousin and friend, David Cancilla.

"He lived life fully and loved his family more. He spent his last day on this earth doing what he loved most, serving others, spending time with his family and celebrating life with a big party.  Our heartfelt prayers go to the Velasco family for the loss of their daughter, a dear friend to David.  Thank you for your prayers."

A Facebook page has been created to honor Cancilla's memory. Funeral services are scheduled for Wednesday at the LDS Church at 1810 W. Springwater Drive. Visitation will run from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., followed by the funeral at 11 a.m.

Internment will be at Timpanogos Memorial Center, 1000 N. 400 East.

According to the Facebook page, Cancilla was born to Gail Lois Silva Cancilla and Charles Diego "Rocky" Cancilla on June 16, 1989. He is survived by his parents, older brother Joseph, sister-in-law Tara, niece Anela, younger sister Lineah Yapias, brother-in-law Andrew, grandmother Leilani Cancilla and "many aunties, uncles, cousins and friends who loved him and are extremely saddened at his passing."

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather, Joseph Paul Cancilla, and his maternal grandparents, David Silva and Winona Medeiros Silva.

Ron Wilkinson, whose daughter, Rachel, was a friend of Cancilla, called him "an outstanding man" who had "a big, warm smile that radiated love."

Cancilla had been working in Minnesota for the summer and returned to Utah last week for his sister's wedding, Wilkinson said. The reception was Saturday night.

Cancilla had been at the Wilkinson's home in Orem socializing with friends until about 2:30 a.m. Sunday. He left to go home to pack for his trip back to Minnesota, Wilkinson said.

Cancilla's death, he said, "is an incredible loss."

"David was a great example of love and service," Wilkinson said. "He absolutely loved everyone around him. He dedicated everything he did to his family."

He recalled the time Cancilla visited him in the hospital in February.

"He heard about it and dropped by a care basket," Wilkinson said. "I was only a friend's father. This was one of many examples where he reached out to others and sought opportunities to serve."

Investigators are working to determine the cause of the accident. Wind gusts were reported in the area and may have contributed to the crash, Hopper said.

E-mail: jpage@desnews.com

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