TRAX train kills student

By Michael McFall, Staff Writer

Joseph Montgomery lived to conquer life’s obstacles.

On March 2, Montgomery, 19, was skateboarding from the Midvale TRAX station across 95 W. Center Street, when a train hit him at about 6 p.m. He was taken to Intermountain Medical Center in serious condition, but died four days later. He is survived by his parents, Kevin and Brenda, his sister Lisa and his brothers Benjamin, Peter and Daniel.

“He always lived adventurously,” said Kevin Montgomery, Joseph’s father.

When he took up skateboarding, he wasn’t content to just ride the board. He had to be doing tricks, Kevin Montgomery said. He remembers when his son went snowboarding, the bunny hill wasn’t enough8212;he had to conquer the big jumps.

Montgomery’s friend, Kylee Howard, said she owes her life to the fearless adventurer. When they were in high school, Montgomery saved her life while they were rock climbing at Bear Lake, Howard wrote on his online obituary. Her hero joined her for the Sweethearts dance during their senior year at West Jordan High School.

Naturally gifted with a 6-foot-2-inch stature, Montgomery also excelled at West Jordan High School on the varsity basketball team. He played on the team all four years, until he graduated last spring. He shifted his academics to the U, where his conquests continued beyond the athletic realm.

Research shows that the challenge of playing music well fine-tunes the mind, and Montgomery was ready for the challenge. He began with piano and saxophone at a young age, and added a guitar to his repertoire in high school. He also tried the drums, but the simplistic instrument proved too boring for the conqueror of mind and matter, his father said.

“There was a drive in him,” Kevin Montgomery said. “When he set himself to do something, he worked very hard at it.”

Montgomery was only a freshman, but he was simultaneously studying math, physics and medicine. Kevin Montgomery recalled that his son had a sharp mind, particularly for mathematics and enjoyed the mental challenge.

“He was a swell kid,” said Annie Christensen, dean of students, who has been consoling the Montgomery family since their loss. “He really seemed to love it here.”

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Joseph Montgomery