Pedestrian killed while crossing S.R. 224
December 13, 2011
A woman who was struck by two cars while trying to cross State Road 224 on Saturday, died Sunday afternoon at a Salt Lake hospital.
Gabriela Caballero-Lopez, 25, was from Paraguay and was working for Deer Valley and Westgate on a J1 student visa. She was pursuing a law degree in Paraguay and was described by her co-workers as a hardworking woman with a wonderful smile.
Lopez died of head injuries at 1 p.m. on Sunday, according to a representative of the Utah Highway Patrol. She was struck twice by cars while crossing State Road 224 at the Canyons Resort Drive intersection Saturday night, according to Utah Highway Patrol Corporal Todd Johnson.
Lopez was crossing west to east across S.R. 224 at 5:45 p.m. She was close to, but not in the crosswalk, according to Johnson. She did not have a walk signal and was wearing dark clothing. Johnson said Lopez was struck by a car driving southbound that threw her into the other lane where she was struck by a northbound car.
According to the Utah Highway Patrol incident report, the area is dimly lit. There are bus stops on both sides of the road where Lopez was crossing.
Lopez was working part-time at the Empire Lodge bakery at Deer Valley for the second season. Pastry Chef Steve Harty said Lopez often worked doubles and was very driven to make money so that she could afford her law exams and help her family.
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"She was shy, but very quick to smile and had the brightest smile," Harty said. "I have these fond memories of her speaking Spanish at this amazingly rapid pace. She was hardworking, mature and very focused, which must have been the lawyer in her."
Deer Valley is setting up a foundation for Lopez within its organization.
Brian Waltrip, general manager at Westgate, said Lopez was working in the Skier Service’s department for the third season.
"She had this unbelievable personality and was an irreplaceable part of the Westgate team," Waltrip said.
Waltrip was unsure if Lopez was leaving a shift at the Westgate when she was struck by the vehicles.
Lopez’s mother and sister were able to secure emergency visas and were expected to arrive in Utah from Paraguay Monday night, according to Harty.
Westgate paid for the family’s flight and is housing the family during their stay. The entire Westgate staff will be wearing white ribbons to commemorate Lopez during the next week, according to Waltrip.
The accident is still under investigation, but according to Johnson, no driver has been issued a citation.
Any donation made to the Westgate Foundation under Lopez’s name will go directly to her family and to help pay for the hospital expenses. The Park Record will post the link and directions on how to donate when it becomes available.