Woman critically injured in U.S. 89
crash near her home
By Doug Lowe
MANTI – On Jan. 3, just two days into the New Year, the future took a terrible turn for Manti resident, Valene Tillack, 78, as she attempted to turn left onto U.S. 89 from Keller Lane, where she and her husband, Ed, have lived for some 14 years.
Apparently, not seeing the oncoming 2000 Ford Explorer, driven by Stanford Stubbs, a 64-year-old Mt. Pleasant resident, Tillack began turning toward Ephraim. Stubbs swerved, trying to avoid a collision, but crashed into the driver’s side front wheel of her 2006 Lincoln Zephyr.
Despite wearing her seat belt and having secured her 5-year-old grandson in the back seat, Tillack sustained serious injuries and was transported to Sanpete Valley Hospital; she was then Life-Flighted to the Wasatch front.
The grandson emerged unscathed and was quickly reunited with his grandfather and sibling, who had stayed at home on Keller Lane.
Both children from Eagle Mountain had been staying with the grandparents while their mom and dad went to Hawaii.
All three occupants of the Ford Explorer, Stanford Stubbs, 64, Joy Stubbs, 63, and Mary Anne Sargeant, 87, were injured but not incapacitated. When EMS arrived, they were also transported to Sanpete Valley Hospital.
A neighbor of the Tillack’s, Jenny Peterson, saw the accident from a window on the east side of her home, which is situated nearer to U.S. 89 than any of the other handful of homes on Keller Lane.
“It was exactly 11:18 a.m.,” recalled Peterson. “I know because my son had just called me for a ride home. Looking out the window I saw a white car begin pulling out from the lane, starting to turn left onto Highway 89, when the crash occurred.
“Others cars stopped to help and by the time I called 911 they already knew about the accident. Only later did I learn it was Val Tillack, who all the kids around here call ‘Grandma Val,’ who had been hit.”
Ed Tillack reports that his wife has recently undergone surgery, and has a number of broken bones, including her pelvis, as well as fractured ribs.
“It could be worse, but her recovery is going to take a long time because at our age you don’t heal so fast,” he added.