By: Carolyn Cooke
Family Security Matters
Editor’s note: This is the next in a continuing series about the forgotten victims of illegal alien crime – weekly stories you do not see in the mainstream media.
America’s Most Forgotten is dedicated to all of the innocent people and their families who have been victimized by illegal aliens as a result of the refusal of our elected officials to enforce United States immigration law and to secure our borders. Americans remain unprotected from this unwanted invasion of unidentified people from across the world. No region of the country has been spared and the citizens presented come from all walks of life. Crisscrossing the nation, we have a predominantly African-American neighborhood in LA, then we skip to an affluent, successful woman in New York City and then to a rural Mississippi family hoping to escape big city crime and then to a Native American in small town. And on, and on, and on…
On December 23, 2006, Gary Ceran played a convincing Bob Cratchit, the father of Tiny Tim, in a local theater production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Caleb Ceran, 12 years old, and Clarissa Ceran, 17 years old, performed alongside their father as two of his fictional children. They shared his interest in the performing arts. In attendance at the Hale Center Theater production were the rest of the family, wife Cheryl and their two children, Ian, 15, and Julianna, 7.
After the performance, the Ceran family stopped at Walmart for some last-minute Christmas shopping, and then drove home to Cedar Hills, Utah, to celebrate Christmas. At around 2:30 a.m. on December 24th, Carlos Prieto, an illegal alien, intoxicated and driving without a license, ran a red light and broadsided the Ceran vehicle. Cheryl and Ian were killed instantly. Their littlest child, Julianna, died from her injuries after being transported by helicopter to Primary Children’s Medical Center. The rest of the family suffered injuries requiring hospitalization. The wreckage of the vehicle was wrapped around Clarissa’s legs and Caleb suffered from a shoulder injury, broken ribs, and a fractured pelvis.
Gary Ceran had a leg injury as a result of the collision but he scrambled from the wreckage to check on his family. He recalled holding Ian’s head on his lap and stroking his hair as blood poured from his face. Ian had no pulse. He found no sign of life in his wife either.
Gary comforted Caleb, telling him, “We’re going to be all right, buddy.” Caleb said those words were all he remembered from the traumatic event that took his mother and two of his siblings.
Clarissa, a dance major at Brigham Young University, turned 19 on December 26, 2006, in her hospital room. She was able to take small steps and wiggle her toes. This was nothing short of a miracle. Gary Ceran said, “It’s absolutely astonishing to me, not that just that she lived, but I really thought her legs would be lost. When you look at the vehicle and her door and how the car is pushed from the passenger side to the middle of the car, it’s absolutely amazing she’s alive…” Clarissa had dreamed of becoming a dancer.
The Ceran family was described as “the greatest family you could probably ever meet” by a family friend. According to the Daily Herald, five hundred visitors came to the hospital within the first 24 hours after the accident.
The Ceran family belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Gary drew upon a deep faith in God and the support of others to get himself and his remaining son and daughter through their terrible ordeal. Gary believed the ones who survived “were the ones most able to cope with the loss of the others.”
Gary Ceran forgave Preito. He believed it was the right thing to do and quoted scripture from the Bible on forgiveness. Mr. Ceran said, “I want Carlos to know I forgive him,” Ceran said through tears. “Hasn’t there been enough suffering?”