A ‘force for good’; Young man mourned in wake of fatal motorcycle accident

Kyle Shelley poses for a photo at the Grand Canyon, specific location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Jeremy Shelley, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Friends and family are mourning the loss of Southern Utah resident Kyle Shelley who died from injuries sustained when the motorcycle he was riding was hit by a passenger car.

Kyle Shelley helps his younger brother while they work on a motorcycle engine, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Jeremy Shelley, St. George News

At approximately 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Shelley was riding his motorcycle to work at Liahona Academy in Hurricane when the driver of a passenger car turned left into him, Hurricane Police Department Public Information Officer Ken Thompson said.

The car’s driver was making a left-hand turn from the westbound side of 600 North onto 2600 West in Hurricane. There was a vehicle traveling east, and the passenger car turned after the eastbound vehicle passed. Shelley was behind the eastbound vehicle and the driver of the passenger car did not see him, Thompson said.

Shelley sustained serious injuries from the accident and was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center via ambulance. He was not wearing a helmet, Thompson said.

Thompson later confirmed that Shelley passed away.

“The wonderful doctors and staff did everything they could to save him, but it was determined that he would never recover,” Shelley’s uncle, Jeremy Shelley, said in an email statement to St. George News. “The decision was made to donate any organs possible to give the gift of life to others.”

As family and friends reel in the wake of his loss, they said Shelley lived his adult life giving back to others.

A post from the GoFundMe account set up to help Shelley’s family with medical and funeral expenses said the following:

Kyle had a rough time during his teens and went to residential behavior treatment when he was 15. This experience turned his life around and he has since been a force for good. In fact, the job he was riding to was the same facility he was at for his own treatment. He was paying it forward in a way few others could do. He helped many other young men work through their own struggles.

Liahona Academy saved Shelley’s life, his uncle said. As soon as he could, Shelley returned to the residential treatment facility, first as a volunteer and then as an employee.

In 2018, Shelley enrolled in Dixie Tech’s diesel tech program and balanced work and school full-time in Southern Utah.

Clay AhQuin, the owner of Liahona Academy, said Shelley was a kid who really got the program, and when he returned as an employee, it made him a very powerful instrument in working with the boys.

Kyle Shelley poses on a hiking trail, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Jeremy Shelley, St. George News

“He was very empathetic,” AhQuin said.

AhQuin said Shelley was a great person who had a bright future ahead of him that was unfortunately cut short.

“We are in shock,” AhQuin said. “He was so close to all of us.”

When not at work or school, Shelley could be found fishing, hiking or riding his motorcycle, his uncle said, adding that the outdoors were his favorite place to be.

Jeremy Shelley said that the family would like to acknowledge that while they suffer from losing Shelley at such a young age, they know that this was an accident.

“We acknowledge that another family is affected by this tragedy, and their lives will forever be changed as well. Please have kind thoughts for them,” he said.

The family will celebrate Shelley’s life Thursday at 1 p.m. at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 W. St. George Blvd., and they invite anyone who knew and loved him to join them.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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