Grieving Dad’s Words For the Driver Who Killed His Son Are Simply Unforgettable

A Utah dad’s inspiring words are going viral in the midst of a devastating loss. After his son Simon Olsen and his girlfriend Hailie Godfrey, both 18, were killed in a head-on collision earlier this week, Lane Olsen took to Facebook to express his grief over his loss. But he also had some surprising words for the driver of the car that killed the teens, Tanner Evans, who walked away from the crash with injuries that are not life-threatening. Olsen’s Facebook post has since been shared over 2700 times since it was posted yesterday morning. It reads:

Today has been the worst day of my life! No parent should have to bury their child.

As a family our hearts go out to Tanner Evans, who was the driver that killed my son Simon and his girlfriend Hailie.

simon hailie
Photo: GoFundMe

What is crazy about this accident is that we know their family very well, his father was my Assistant basketball coach for AAU, we coached together for 5 years and former bishop. Tanners older son played on the High School team with my son Chandler and they were best friends.

With Tanner coming home last week from his mission we can’t imagine the guilt and pain he is feeling. We hold no hard feelings and we love that family!

I spoke to his father Matt, and he says that he is devastated and their family is feeling the same pain and sadness.

I am so proud of my children. When my son Chandler Olsen found out who the driver was, he wanted to drive over and tell the family that we forgive them and have no hard feelings. My daughter Lexi Sparks posted on her FB wall to pray for him and his family. Gehrig Olsen is not angry either.

This is what Simon would of wanted, he loved everyone and would want everyone to be laughing and have no anger.

I’m sure Simon would say “Guys relax I will you see all very soon, I’m skydiving in Heaven and practicing my basketball skills”

Im humbled by the power of forgiveness for this is the only way to heal and move forward.

We used many of the organs in his body, which will affect 30 people. Simon would of liked knowing he helped others in need.

Please pray for all of us and especially the Evans family. This is not easy for any of us, but through God and faith we will get through this most trying time in our lives.

The outreach and love extended to our family has been overwhelming, we have had so many friends and family visit, call from all over the world and hundreds of texts and FB posts. We feel the power of your thoughts and prayers.

It is by this power that we are getting through this most challenging time. We appreciate those that have also donated in Simons behalf, your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Some people say that their is no God, others say we will not have an afterlife.

But I CHOOSE to BELIEVE, I CHOOSE to be HAPPY, I CHOOSE to live my life through my son. And I CHOOSE one day to embrace my son and cry tears of joy.

We love you all!

eagle mountain crash
Photo: Utah County Sherriff’s department

Expressing total forgiveness for Tanner Evans and no ill-will toward his family as what his son would have wanted, Olsen’s message is a powerful one of LOVE in the midst of loss and tragedy. When he has every reason to hate, to scream and yell, to be angry, he says, “I CHOOSE to BELIEVE, I CHOOSE to be HAPPY, I CHOOSE to live my life through my son. And I CHOOSE one day to embrace my son and cry tears of joy.”

I can only hope and pray that the Olsen family’s example of forgiveness with help Tanner Evans to be able to go on with his life in a positive way after being involved in such a tragedy. If only we could all forgive each hurt we suffer—from small to devastatingly huge—as the Olsens have done, this world would be SUCH a better place.

Our prayers are with the Olsens, the Godfreys, and the Evans’ during this difficult time.



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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.