Saratoga Springs woman remembered after fatal car crash near Strawberry Reservoir
Courtesy Utah Highway Patrol
The life of a Saratoga Springs newlywed is being memorialized by loved ones in the wake of her death last week.
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, a car crash on Highway 40 on the east side of Strawberry Reservoir ended with the death of two people. A driver and a passenger were in a Honda Accord heading west, and another driver in a Dodge Ram was headed east when he “lost control and spun across the westbound lane,” said Sgt. Cameron Roden, Utah Highway Patrol spokesman. The driver of the Ram spun in front of the Accord, which then ran into the truck’s passenger door.
Kelsie Remington Tingen, 21, was the passenger in the Accord with her husband, Chase Tingen, driving. They were on their way home from spending time with family in Vernal, a Facebook post stated. Chase was taken to the hospital in serious condition and stabilized, but Kelsie Tingen was pronounced dead on site. The driver of the pickup truck, Poul Larsen, 37, of Duchesne, also died at the scene.
Chase is slowly recovering from the accident in the hospital. He has 11 broken bones and many fractures in his head, according to his sister, Katherine Tingen. Among other bones in his body, he broke his arms, knees, nose, jaw, sternum and ribs. He underwent surgery to reset his arms and has gotten many stitches to close up the lacerations in his legs.
“He is faring better than he thought he would be but he still has a long way to go,” she said. “They’ve started him on physical therapy and they’ve been able to get him to sit and stand but that’s about all. They’re trying to lower his oxygen levels, but they’re worried about pneumonia. Just lots of waiting and worrying.”
Courtesy Utah Highway Patrol
The cause of Larson losing control of his vehicle is still under investigation, but Roden said the roads were “slick and icy” and could have caused him to lose control. In addition, the agency is investigating if he was possibly going too fast for the road conditions due to the weather, causing him to lose traction, Roden said.
A GoFundMe fundraising campaign has been set up by Amber Christensen, a family friend. Kelsie’s life insurance policy her parents, Sariah and Reed Remington, had set up for her expired when she turned 21, according to Christensen’s post. As of Thursday night, the campaign had raised nearly $33,000 out of a $40,000 goal.
Chase and Kelsie Tingen were newlyweds, married just four months ago in the Payson Utah Temple. Kelsie graduated from Westlake High School in the class of 2020 and had returned from serving a mission in Baltimore for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in December 2022. She attended Utah Valley University for one year before her mission and had been attending UVU for the past two semesters, Katherine Tingen said.
The GoFundMe page says, “Kelsie’s light grew even brighter when she married the love of her life, Chase, just four months ago. She was over the moon to begin their life together, never shy to express her love for him to those around her. Chase was also never shy in expressing his love for Kelsie. Chase is attending BYU and also has a great spirit with him. His love for people and optimistic outlook are contagious. He has a deep love for both of his families.”
In addition to friends, family and strangers donating money, dozens of people have posted on social media to show their love and support as well as to share memories of Kelsie and express how much they will miss her.
“Kelsie was my sister-in-law … but she also has been my best friend since the day I met her,” Katherine Tingen said. “Finding out that she had been killed in the car wreck put a hole straight through my heart. I’ve never felt so hopeless and sad. She was the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me.”
Katherine Tingen is currently at the Missionary Training Center preparing to serve her own mission. She was given permission to leave the MTC for a time to see her brother in the hospital right after the accident. “That helped a lot, but I still just feel so useless in this situation. No one was kinder and more loving than Kelsie. The world really lost the best of the best,” she said.
One of her favorite memories was going wedding dress shopping for Kelsie and Chase’s wedding. She said, “I went with her and her mom and we tried them on together as well as made sure they were swing dancing-approved.”
She continued sharing memories, “Me and Kelsie spent a lot of time chatting and singing together. Every time she came over to my family’s house, we always managed to end up singing at the piano. She lived life to the fullest, from finding flowers to figuring out a new sign in (American Sign Language). She was always looking for the best in all worlds.”
Remembering the time she spent with Kelsie, Katherine Tingen shared, “She also was the greatest adventure buddy and hype man. About two months ago, we got up and went on an 8-mile hike on three hours of sleep. Even when I wanted to give up, she pushed me and helped me see that I could. She always had that ability to show everyone that they were so much stronger and more lovable than they thought they were.”
Jennifer Pugh, a friend of Kelsie’s parents, posted a remembrance on Facebook: “Sending so much love from our home to theirs, and from here to heaven. My heart is aching for them. Kelsie Remington Tingen was one of the special ones. She will forever have a place in my heart.”
4 Brothers Pizza started a fundraiser to support the Remington family. Over 100 pizzas were ordered in support of Kelsie and Chase.
The Westlake High band posted on Facebook, “The Westlake band family would like to extend our love and support to the family of Kelsie Remington Tingen who passed away in a tragic accident. Kelsie was a flute player and head drum major for our show Dream Traveler. She greeted everyone with a smile and then treated everyone with kindness. She led by example and worked with grit and tenacity. Many have described her as a bright light in this world. She truly was. While we are deeply saddened by this loss, we are grateful we had the opportunity to know her and spend time with her. She made us better people. We love you, Kelsie! We will miss you.”
Larsen, the driver who died in the crash, was a welder for an oil field tanker building company. His obituary says, “He was a free-spirit, strong-willed, always had a smile – even through hard times- and had the biggest heart – he would go without before he’d let any friends or family suffer.”
He is survived by his children, parents, siblings and several nieces and nephews. His obituary reads, “His nieces and nephews were well taken care of by him and his favorite saying, which is now even more appropriate, is ‘See you later…never goodbye!'”