Parents-to-be killed in Saturday crash loved animals, each other

Published: Saturday, Jan. 19 2013 11:33 p.m. MST

Kelsey Halterman, left, and fiance Garrett Barker were killed in an auto accident Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013.

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NORTH SALT LAKE — When friends talk about Garrett Barker and fiancee Kelsey Halterman, they describe a loving couple with "full hearts" for the people in their lives, the animals they cared for and the baby who would have been born next week.

Barker and Halterman died Saturday morning after their car slid off the I-215 overpass at the I-15 interchange, flipped over and landed near the railroad tracks below.

Barker, 22, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Barker was a former employee of KSL, where he worked as a video editor for two years. 

Halterman, 21, was taken to Lakeview Hospital, where her baby boy was delivered and taken to Primary Children's Medical Center, family members said.

The baby did not survive. Halterman was due to give birth on Jan. 27. Family members said she had planned to name the little boy "Sage."

The UHP said the Layton couple was traveling too fast for the icy conditions. Five dogs were in the car at the time of the accident, family members reported. Three of the dogs were killed in the crash, and two more had to be euthanized due to their injuries.

Tanner Nelson, a longtime friend of Barker and Halterman, recalled the couple's love for each other and for their pets. Barker and Halterman worked together at the Animal Care Center in West Bountiful.

"They loved animals. That was probably their biggest passion together," Nelson said. "They fostered dogs and helped them find homes for life. They gave back."

The couple was anxiously looking forward to the birth of their first child, Nelson said. 

"They kept it a secret at first," he said. "It maybe wasn't something they planned on, but it was something they were ready for."

KSL reporter Alex Cabrero worked with Barker as he trained with the news team, eventually becoming a valuable editor. Cabrero said he was shocked to learn the quiet and humble young man he had worked with had been killed so tragically, with his fiancee at his side and a baby on the way.

"When Garrett first started here, he made a lot of mistakes, but he was one of those guys who cared to get it right," Cabrero said. "I couldn't believe it was Garrett in this accident." 

An account has been set up by family members at America First Credit Union in the couple's name to help with funeral expenses.

Contributing: Lisa Riley Roche

E-mail: mromero@deseretnews.com, Twitter: McKenzieRomero

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