Wife remembers military husband, Maj. Fernando Lavana, after he was killed in Sandy crosswalk

SANDY, Utah — For the first time, the wife who lost her military husband after he was hit and killed on a crosswalk in Sandy, shared her story.

Rachel Lavana was house hunting out of state, getting ready to move to a new army base camp for her husband’s military service when she found a voicemail on her phone.

“I need you to give me a call back as soon as possible, there’s been an emergency at your house,” said a Sandy Police Officer. 

Lavana said she’s always expected there could be a phone call about her husband, Major Fernando Lavana, but when she returned the officer’s phone call, she didn’t expect this.

“She said to me, ‘are you with family or friends?’ I had the most horrible, sinking feeling,” said Lavana. “Why would I need to be with family and friends right now? Everything should be fine right?”

The couple would’ve had celebrated their first year anniversary in August, the month their blended family came together — making a total of eight kids. 

Lavana kept all of the letters they wrote to each other while they long distance dated. 

“He would always the letters with something about how he appreciates me or loved something about me,” said Lavana.

Maj. Lavana moved to California from Mexico with his family when he was four years old. Studying at UCLA for his undergrad and at Sacrament State for his master’s degree, Lavana said her husband knew Arabic and Spanish.

Most of all, Lavana said he loved God and his children. Memories she will hold on to, as Lavana holds on to her husband. 

“It feels like he hasn’t left because I feel his presence,” said Lavana.

Family members have set up a GoFundMe for the Lavana’s.


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