April 18, 2024

Former CEU student killed in USU rollover last week

A former College of Eastern Utah student was one of nine killed in the tragic Utah State University van roll over last week on U.S. 84.
Justin Clark Huggins, 21, passed away Monday, September 26, 2005 when the van he was riding in blew a tire, causing the vehicle to skid out of control and roll four times. Seven other students were killed as well as the driver of the van, instructor Evan Parel Parker.
Huggins was part of a College of Agricultural group returning to the university from a field trip to a farm near Tremonton.
He graduated from Bear River High School in 2002 and came to CEU to play baseball. After making the team, he opted to pursue other academic interests in January 2003 and left on a LDS Church mission in June 2003 to the Florida Tampa area.
CEU sophomore Joseph Whitehead met Huggins at the Price school when they were both freshmen.
“Justin was one of those people that you just wanted to be around. We became friends when I started hanging out at the ‘marriage house,’ as it was called, and he was could always make us laugh. (The marriage house was an old apartment complex located south of the high school. It was owned by the college to house its marriage students years ago).
He always had a smile on his face and I mean always. When I would come over to see him, I could always find him watching reruns of “Friends,” with a baseball bat in his hands.”
“Justin was such a boring name so we always called him ‘Huggies.’ He definitely loved sports. He would help us practice for the intramural flag-football championship and we loved his support as we played for the men’s club volleyball team.
Huggies loved to burn things Just recently we figured out it was him that burnt the couch on the front lawn of the marriage house.”
“He will definitely be missed by all of us. If Huggies couldn’t brighten my day, no one could. Just hanging out or playing pranks on CEU females, Justin was a great friend. He was dedicated to his friends, his team and his church. Let’s just say that CEU would be just a bit more rowdy if Huggies were still here.”
Huggins was born in Tremonton June 6, 1984 to Clark Burt and AnnMarie Yates Huggins. He worked with his father on the family farm in Bear River City. Justin lived and loved baseball.
Surviving him are his parents, brother, Trenton, two sisters, Matti and Gracie all of Bear River City; Grandparents: JoDell and LaNette Huggins, Bear River City, Diane Ball, Tremonton, Lynn Yates, California.
Services were last Friday at the Bear River City Ward Chapel with interment at the Bear River City Cemetery.
In light of the tragedy, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman requested all flags in the state be lowered to half staff through Monday, October 3. A candlelight vigil was held on September 27 on the Taggart Student Center Plaza with white ribbons distributed during the vigil as a symbol of hope for those students who struggle to survive and remember those who were killed.
A memorial fund is established in the student’s memories and donations are being accepted. For more information and updates, log on the USU website.
“A quote on USU’s website sums up the university’s reaction to the student’s and instructor’s deaths, ‘The College of Agriculture is a close group,” said Noelle Cockett, interim provost and dean of the college. ‘This is a very difficult for all of us and our hearts go out to the families.'”