COVE FORT, Millard County — A young woman and her unborn baby have died as a result from injuries sustained from a six-car pileup on I-15 over the weekend.
Bayley Huerta, 22, of Cedar City, who was six-months pregnant with a daughter, was killed while moving from southern Utah back to Cache County where she grew up so she could be closer to family when her first child was born.
Huerta was driving a Volkswagen Jetta when it became sandwiched between the rear of a semitrailer and an F-350 Ford truck that landed on top of her Jetta.
The pileup happened just before noon on Saturday on I-15 near Cove Fort. A snowplow and a semitrailer were involved in a minor traffic accident, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.
Traffic on I-15 slowed as the two vehicles pulled off to the side of the road. But a second semi that apparently didn't see the slowing traffic rear-ended the F-350, according to the UHP. The Ford was pushed on top of the Jetta and up against the first semitrailer.
Emergency responders initially thought Huerta had died on scene, but they discovered a pulse once she was extricated from the vehicle, according to the UHP. She was flown to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo in extremely critical condition. Her sister was taken to the same hospital, listed in poor condition.
Three people in the Ford were taken to a Fillmore hospital in fair to poor conditions and the driver of the errant semitrailer was also transported to Provo in poor to critical condition, the UHP reported.
Huerta later died from her injuries. UHP Sgt. Todd Royce said once the investigation into the crash is completed, the case will be handed over to the Millard County Attorney's Office to determine whether charges should be filed against the driver of the semitrailer.
According to a GoFundMe Page set up for Huerta to cover funeral expenses and to help her husband, she married her high school sweetheart Fernando Saul Huerta and were sealed in the LDS Logan Temple on June 26, 2015.
Bayley Jayce Zollinger Huerta, originally from Millville in Cache County, met her husband when they were first teenagers, according to friends. They dated through their years at Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum and when both attended Southern Utah University.
They announced to their families in October that they were expecting a baby girl in March that they would name Elenna Grace, according to the GoFundMe Page.
"On the drive to their Cache Valley home, Bayley was involved in a car accident, and instead was taken to her heavenly home accompanied by their beautiful baby girl. She is now a mother in heaven and has left her adoring husband Fernando in the care of family and friends," the page states.
Tributes and messages of condolence were posted on social media over the weekend from friends and family members.
"Thank you for being such a light in this world. You will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved you," wrote one woman.
Another wrote on Facebook: "We've felt the sting today as we said goodbye to our dear friend, Bayley Zollinger Huerta. But we know that there is a resurrection, that families are forever, that through Christ we can be healed, and that we will get to see her and their baby after this life."
"Hearts are heavy today with the passing of Bayley Zollinger Huerta and her dear angel baby girl. One day we will understand the trials that are put before us! Such a wonderful family!" wrote another woman.