MURRAY — A man severely injured in a dirt bike crash near the Utah County-Tooele County border died late Monday, his family said.
Matt Ballard, of South Jordan, had been riding in the area of Fivemile Pass west of Eagle Mountain Friday when family members said he encountered a rock at the wrong place at the wrong time.
“At some point along the edge of this cliff, he happened to hit a rock wrong and fell,” Ballard’s sister, Jenny Johnson, said.
Ballard dropped 75 feet into a rock quarry, suffering injuries to all of his limbs as well as internal injuries.
Family members said Monday he suffered three strokes before he died.
Brent Ballard said his brother was experienced on the dirt bike as well as other outdoor vehicles, and he always recreated with a high degree of safety.
“Even with his friends, he wouldn’t let them ride unless they had their gear on,” he explained.
Relatives expressed gratitude over one of Ballard’s friends, who quickly rode 4 miles away to get cell service and call for help, and who then returned to Ballard’s side to help keep him alive for nearly 2 hours until first responders could arrive.
Ballard was loved deeply by his wife and their six children, family members said.Comment on this story
“He gives his all to everyone in need — anyone in need, at any time, anywhere, anyplace,” said Johnson, teary-eyed. “He lived his life for his kids and his wife. I just saw a new, amazing man emerge with a family.”
Ballard’s family created a GoFundMe account to help his wife and kids with the challenges and expenses they face in the coming months.
Brent Ballard said it was difficult to contemplate what had happened, but he hopes others might learn from his brother’s story.
“Life is short,” he said. “It’s a life to live and you need to spend that time with your family and always let them know that you love them.”