Crash claims former Oakley bus driver and wife
Two Oakley residents, one known best by school kids as a kindhearted bus driver in South Summit for 27 years, were killed Sept. 30 when the minivan they were riding in veered off the road near Powder Mountain ski resort.
Oral Snapp, who was 83, and his wife, 65-year-old Mary Kay Snapp, died as a result of the crash that occurred on State Road 158 around 8:30 p.m.
Five other family members were injured in the accident.
Oral Snapp’s 40-year-old stepdaughter, who was driving the vehicle, made a wrong turn on Powder Mountain Road and became lost in the northern reaches of Weber Canyon, Weber County Sheriff’s Office Captain Brett Haycock said.
"Powder Mountain Road coming down is very steep," Haycock said about the highway, which is known for its abrupt grades. "But most people are aware of the steepness of it."
But speeds the minivan reached coming down the hill melted the brake pads and warped the rotors to the point the brakes were "inoperable," Haycock said, adding that the driver had ridden her brakes much of the way down.
The vehicle left the right side of the road traveling faster than 55 mph, say investigators.
According to the Weber County Sheriff’s Office, at the time of the crash the 1999 Chevrolet Venture was carrying seven passengers who ranged in age from 12 to 83 years old.
"They all should be coming home today and will be able to attend the funeral," said Oral Snapp’s daughter Gloria Mitchell about the survivors of the crash. "They were all lucky."
Several medical helicopters were used to evacuate victims, including Oral Snapp’s 12-year-old step-grandson, who was taken to Primary Children’s Medical Center after he suffered broken bones, according to a Weber County Sheriff’s Office press release.
The Snapps had traveled to a wedding in the Ogden Valley with Mary Kay Snapp’s daughter, her son-in-law and three grandchildren, who are from the Blanding area, Mitchell said, adding that Oral and Mary Kay just celebrated their seventh wedding anniversary.
"I was truly devastated because I had dreaded this day & They were so happy," Mitchell said in an interview Tuesday. "His first two wives died from heart attacks."
She says she marveled at her father’s strength when he dealt with such adversity.
"The kids all loved him," Mitchell said. "He loved life and lived it well."
Oakley resident Konni Thompson recalled riding
Snapp’s bus as a student in Kamas in the 1970s.
"We loved to ride his bus because he never yelled, he never got mad at anyone," she said. "Everybody liked to ride his bus, I remember, because I had a mean bus driver and I got switched to his."
Born in Rupert, Idaho, in 1923, Snapp moved to Oakley when he was 18 years old and had worked as a mink rancher, dairy farmer and a bus driver for the South Summit School District, Mitchell said.
"He loved the kids and the kids loved him," she said. "Everybody knew him, loved him and remembered his laugh."
She praised her father for holding high positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"They worked in the Salt Lake temple together," Mitchell said.
"I want everybody to know how much my dad loved life, loved family and loved family gatherings."
A funeral service is scheduled Oct. 5 at noon at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Center in Marion.
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