Father says daughter died doing what she loved
Thursday, 18 August 2005 -CHRIS PETERSON - Daily Herald
The father of one of those who died in the cave accident on Y Mountain on Thursday morning said she died doing what she loved.
Jennifer Lynn Galbraith, 21, of Pleasant Grove, was entering her second year at Utah Valley State College, majoring in integrated studies.
Her father, Chris Galbraith, said he and his wife were at UVSC with their daughter the day before her death.
"We were helping her get registered, and we also spent some time with her in the bookstore," Galbraith said in an interview with the Daily Herald on Thursday.
Although Jennifer lived in her own apartment in Pleasant Grove, Chris said she visited her family's house often.
"Just like any kid, she would bring her laundry here and raid the refrigerator for any food she could find," Galbraith said.
He said Jennifer, who graduated from Pleasant Grove High School in 2002, had big dreams "like a lot of people her age." But lately, she had been setting more firm plans.
"She wanted to become a rock star," Chris said, adding that she played the electric bass guitar, and in the past had been part of a garage band. "But she was getting older, starting to form opinions, and reality was setting in."
She also loved hiking, and her father said he knew she had explored caves before. But he wasn't aware if she had been in this particular cave.
"I think it was just an adventure that went bad," Galbraith said. "When I was a kid, I used to think I was indestructible, too."
Jennifer had been dating another of the victims, J. Blake Donner, 24, of Springville. Chris said their relationship was two or three months old.
"(Blake) was a good kid," Chris said. "He was quiet, but very respectful."
The two were seen by friends on Wednesday night at Steamer's Coffeehouse in Provo, where Donner played a gig with his band, Parallax. After the show, the group of five friends set out for the mountain, said Brent Whitaker, an acquaintance of the victims.
Parallax was scheduled to play at the combination coffee house and smoke shop on Thursday night along with Cellar Door, the band of another of the victims, Ariel Singer, 18.
Thursday's shock is taking a toll on Galbraith -- who was working in Salt Lake when he heard the news -- and the rest of the family.
"It's unreal," he said. "It's a lot of emotions that you go through."
And he knows the accident doesn't just affect his family.
"I think about the families of these people and what they're going through," he said.
"And I think of the rescue people that were on the scene; I know they have feelings about the people they are trying to save. I also think about all of (Jennifer's) friends; she had a lot of them. She was a genuine person."
Chris Peterson can be reached at 344-2556 or
This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page A1.