On March 19, 2023 tragedy struck. Four local teens on their way to the sand dunes in Juab County for a day of recreation were involved in a terrible car accident, killing Spanish Fork High School student Gideon Fudim.
After hearing news of the tragedy, the local community was quick to come together. Within hours of the accident, banners were hung at the Spanish Fork 7-Eleven where the boys and their families frequented. Messages of love and support quickly covered them. and donation jars appeared on the counter to help support the families of all involved in the accident. On Saturday, March 25, people gathered at the Spanish Fork Sports Park to pay tribute to Gideon and his family as well as Erick Franklin, and Easton Roundy and their families. It was a well attended event with family, friends and community members making it clear how important these young men are.
Friends of Gideon remembered him as being a fun- loving kid with a great sense of humor and a big heart.
“Having the opportunity to watch Gideon grow up has been amazing,” Kenzie Fredricks posted “I’ve always enjoyed his company, even if it was just sitting in his room watching him play video games. His personality was so unique, he had the most contagious laugh and he had the purest heart.”
“My heart aches for your loss,” Stacy Andersen wrote in a note to Gideon’s family. “We are forever grateful that we have had the privilege of watching Gideon grow up over the last three years at 7-Eleven. We love you and we are so sorry for your loss. Thank you for letting us get to know your amazing son Gideon.”
Erick Franklin, a student of Spanish Fork Middle School, was also injured in the accident and transported to Primary Children’s hospital. Jaque Findley, a family friend, spoke of Erick’s great sense of humor and quick wit.
“He’s a very sassy kid. The nurse will ask him, ‘Where do you live?’ and he’ll answer ‘Next to my neighbor.’ Just very sassy replies,” Findley said.
Findley said that Erick has been quite surprised by the outpouring of community support for him.
“Erick has loved and been very much surprised by all of the interest and help.” Findley said. “I don’t think he was expecting that, and is very appreciative and flattered by the attention and care shown towards him and his family.”
Erick’s mother Michelle Edwards is a hard working single mom and taking the time off to help him with his recovery has been her top priority. She said she is incredibly grateful for the support of the community for Erick and his friends, that she has a lot of compassion for the driver involved and hopes the community will share in extending that same compassion during this difficult time.
Fundraising pages have been created for Gideon and Erick’s families to assist with expenses.
Gideon Fudim Fundraising Link: give.servedaily.com/gjfudim
Erick Franklin fundraising link: give.servedaily.com/efranklin