Manti senior dies in woodcutting accident

Trace Boylan, a 17-year-old senior at Manti High School, lost his life in a tragic wood-cutting accident up Ephraim canyon on Nov. 5.


Manti senior dies in

woodcutting accident


By Ken Hansen

Staff writer



MANTI—A freak wood-cutting accident in Ephraim Canyon took the life of Trace Boylan, a 17-year-old senior at Manti High School, on Thursday, Nov. 5.

According to Sanpete County Sheriff’s Department Detective Derick Taysom, the young man was cutting wood with a friend and his friend’s father near Willow Creek Road when a felled tree was knocked off course and smashed into Trace.

A call was placed to 911 just after 5 p.m.

Trace’s friend and his friend’s dad began CPR on Trace and restarted his heart and breathing, according to the Boylan family. The friend’s father has years of first-responder experience and directed the efforts to save Trace’s life until paramedics arrived on-scene.

Taysom said that deputies from the Sheriff’s Department along with members of the Search and Rescue and medical personnel responded to the incident.

Trace was taken a short distance down the mountain to a location where he could be placed on an air ambulance, which took him to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. Trace eventually passed away at the hospital.

“We are glad that [his friend’s dad] was there to immediately start aid, giving him the best chance of survival,” said Matthew Ecklund, Trace’s brother-in-law. “We feel it’s a blessing from the Lord that the right people were there at the time, and that emergency personnel responded so quickly.”

“We want to express our appreciation to all of the first-responders, doctors, nurses and others who worked so hard to save Trace’s life,” he said.

According to friends and family, Trace was a “fun-loving, happy-go-lucky, charming, charismatic young man with a bright smile.” Ecklund said that “a lot of people can attest to him being a very kind young man. He would be one of the very first to stop and help someone out.”

“He could get anyone to smile,” said Sarah Litteral, one of Trace’s good friends. “If I was sad, he would recognize it and he would mess around with me to get me to smile. He was a really bright and fun person.”

“Whenever he would come over to my house he would go straight to the fridge, open it and get a drink,” she said. “He made himself at home wherever he would go. He just felt comfortable with the environment he was in all the time.

“Even if he had been working really late he would still call and ask what we were doing—even if it was nine at night. He just loved being with people…I have all these pictures of him on my phone that he asked me to delete, but I didn’t. Now I’m really glad I didn’t.”

“If it had wheels and an engine, he loved it,” said Ecklund. For years Trace knew that he wanted to go to a trade school. His latest plans were to go to the automotive program at the Snow College campus in Richfield. “Any time his dad had to do work on vehicles or tune up a lawn mower, that’s the type of stuff he would do.”



“Last Tuesday [Trace’s mom] Teresa gave Trace permission to make a trip down to Phoenix with his friend David and David’s dad to pick up car parts for a project he had been helping David with,” Ecklund said.

“His mom gave him permission to skip a day of school to go on the trip and he was even able to see the Grand Canyon. They got back around midnight the next day and he was back to school Thursday. It was a fun road trip for him.

“One of the interesting things about Trace in relation to the rest of his family is that they are into a more calm lifestyle—while he always wanted to get up and go. Days that he could go ride on a dirt bike or ATV and get out in the dirt and the mud, he loved that.

“He was fantastic with little children. He was great at getting down to the level of a small child. When cousins would come to visit, he was often the one that they would scream out his name and run to him”

The Boylan family said that they are grateful to all the members of the community who have reached out and expressed t heir sympathy and their memories of Trace. They said there has been an outpouring of support, both in sympathy and materially.

A local company is donating a casket for Trace. The man who is making it was one of his young men’s leaders. “So many people have reached out,” Ecklund said.

A GoFundMe account has been set for Trace. Those that wish to remember him with donations can do so at https://gf.me/u/y7pkh7. “We are so grateful for the gifts that have already been given in his honor,” Ecklund said.

A viewing is scheduled for Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. and Thursday from 9-10 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Center at 555 E. Union St. in Manti. Funeral services will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday. Those that attend are asked to observe recommended safe distances and are asked to wear masks at both the viewing and funeral. The funeral and viewing arrangements may change due to new COVID restrictions. The Manti 4th Ward may likely stream the services on their YouTube channel.

Boylan is the seventh of eight children born to Brent and Teresa Boylan of Manti. He leaves behind his siblings, Jessica (29); Andrew (27); McKenna (25); Ambria (23); Tyler (21); Kyleena (19); and Lance (15), as well as many other family members and a large number of friends.