The family of a brother and sister killed on I-215 were doing the best they could Thursday to cope with the loss of their loved ones.
"It's very difficult, beyond my imagination, to lose one child. But to lose two children ... it's devastating," said family friend and spokeswoman Terri Capener.
Jasmin Gomez-Deaquino, 19, and 14-year-old Edgar Nava Deaquino were killed Wednesday when a vehicle slammed into the back of their Honda Civic, which had broken down near 2300 South.
The victims were both in the back seat with two other relatives in the driver's and front passenger seats. Their car had broken down in the far right lane, and they were about to get out and push the car out of traffic when they were hit, said Utah Highway Patrol trooper Cameron Roden.
A marked vehicle from a Salt Lake security business smashed into the Honda. The 30-year-old driver, an employee of the company, may have been texting or calling someone when the accident occurred, according to the trooper.
"We feel a cell phone may have been a contributor," Roden said.
A woman who answered the phone at the security business Thursday would only say, "We have no comment at this time."
Jasmin worked with her mother and Capener performing housekeeping at a Salt Lake hotel near the airport.
"The family really isn't in a state to talk to anybody," Capener said Thursday. "Whatever prayers people could give in their behalf would be appreciated. They are being as strong as possible. They're going forward to make funeral arrangements for the children."
The Deaquino family has three other children, a boy and two girls. Jasmin and Edgar's parents have been trying to stay focused on their needs, Capener said. When asked whether any kind of fund would be established in the children's behalf, she said the family didn't need money from the public. Right now, they simply appreciate the emotional support they're receiving.
"The support of the community and their friends and family means a tremendous amount right now," she said. "They are a close-knit family, and whatever they did, they did together, and still are."
Both victims had lived in Utah nearly all of their lives. Funeral arrangements for the two siblings had not been announced as of Thursday afternoon.Roden said investigators would submit their case to prosecutors for possible charges against the driver once their investigation was completed.
E-mail: [email protected]