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Car wreck claims the life of Utah football player’s wife

Janelle Tongaonevai

There’s unfortunately some very sad and heartbreaking news coming out of Salt Lake City Friday afternoon as multiple media outlets are reporting the wife of a Utah football player was killed in a car accident Thursday night.

Janelle Tongaonevai, whose husband is Utes defensive lineman Ron Tongaonevai, was one of two people who died as a result of injuries suffered in a crash that occurred in West Valley City, about 12 miles outside of Salt Lake City.  The vehicle in which Tongaonevai was riding/driving was broadsided in an intersection by another vehicle that had run a red light; police officers on the scene do not suspect alcohol or drugs were a cause of the crash.

The accident occurred at 10:30 p.m. local time, roughly an hour and a half after the Utes’ season-opening win over Montana State.

“Our hearts go out to Ron and families and friends on both sides of the marriage for the tragic loss of his wife Janelle,” said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham in a statement. “This is a devastating loss for everyone involved in our program. Our players and staff are grieving for Ron and our top priority is to give him our support.”

Ron and Janelle were married in the summer of 2010.  She was just 25 years old.

It goes without saying that our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to Janelle Tongaonevai’s husband, family, friends and anyone else affected by this unimaginable tragedy.

(Tip O’ the Cap: Mark Ennis)


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6 Responses to “Car wreck claims the life of Utah football player’s wife”
  1. dickroy says: Sep 2, 2011 1:57 PM

    Terrible thing.

  2. 1buckeye76 says: Sep 2, 2011 2:04 PM

    I couldn’t even image how devastated i would be. thoughts for the kid and his family.

  3. scardino says: Sep 2, 2011 2:34 PM

    Unbelievable. God be with them.

  4. parkcityute says: Sep 2, 2011 2:45 PM

    Oh my God! I only caught the end of news report while driving about an hour ago. I can’t believe it.
    I just drove by that intersecction yesterday….. oooh my! I am going to check with other alums and see what we can do to help.

  5. florida727 says: Sep 2, 2011 4:09 PM

    This is beyond sad. You wouldn’t wish this on your worst enemy. I hope all the Utah fans can rally around Ron and the families and show them an incredible amount of love and support. They’ll desperately need it to get through this. Prayers for you and your families, Ron. Stay close to your team and fans. They’ll help you. God bless.

  6. parkcityute says: Sep 3, 2011 6:23 PM

    Fans are really responding. No space for more flowers, so they are donating them to the hospitals, etc. Saw Ron and his family and Janelle’s family about 10 feet away yesterday, they were surrounded by fans/well wishers. It was good to see. I could see that were all still in shock, as we all are.

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