Catherine Smith-Warner before the accident that has left a question mark on her dance career. Courtesy of Catherine Warner

With a shattered leg and several fractures to her face, a UVU student is up against a challenge that not many people are prepared to handle.

Catherine Warner left her house on the morning of Aug. 25 to go to her first day of classes for her last semester before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Ballet. She was on her way to catch the bus when a car came straight at her and threw her up in the air, burying her under another car.

The driver skidded all the way from one side of the street to the other, crossing all lanes of traffic to hit the student, according to Springville police.

The police reported that the driver was 22-year-old Justin Thomas Hicken of Spanish Fork. He had been using drugs at the time of the accident.

Hicken had been arrested a month earlier for driving under the influence of drugs and had spent the previous day in court for the same offense.

Police say he was arrested and is now being held in the Utah County Jail for investigation of driving under the influence, a third degree felony, along with reckless driving and possession of drugs.

“Why can’t people just stay home [to] do whatever they want to do with their lives,” asked one dance student. “If they want to get high, well, then go ahead, but don’t put other people’s lives at risk because of your stupidity.”

“Catherine is such a sweet girl,” another dance classmate said. “She is a very humble dancer with a great technique. She is always trying to help you improve.”

According to Trent Mano, a family friend, Warner went through two surgeries on Sept. 1, one on her left leg and the other to rebuild her nose.

“She seemed well when I saw her before the surgery,” he said. She will be going home Friday night.

Mano and other BYU students performed four comedy shows where all ticket sales and donations were given to the family.

Jeremy Warner, Catherine’s husband, just graduated from BYU and has not yet found a job. They have no health insurance. A fund has been set up for the couple at Zion’s Bank. All donations should be made to the Catey Smith-Warner Fund.

A banquet has also been planned for Oct. 23. Further details will be announced on

Donation Info:
Any Zion’s Bank
-Banquet in October
(check facebook for more info)