Julia Quinn, author of the Bridgerton books that inspired the wildly popular Netflix series, has lost both her father and her sister in a car crash.
On the evening of Wednesday, July 7, the best-selling author shared in a statement online that her father and sister were killed in a car crash in Utah. The devastating accident also reportedly involved a drunk driver.
Quinn posted a message from her father’s children to his Facebook page, which she also shared on her Instagram.
“I have lost my father and my sister. Because a catering company did not secure its load and canvas bags spilled onto the highway. Because a pickup driver thought nothing of driving while his blood alcohol level was nearly 3 times the legal limit,” she wrote in the caption of the post.
“I have lost my father, and I don’t have a sister with whom to grieve,” she continued.
“I have lost my sister @violetcharlescomics, with whom I had just finished a graphic novel. It was dedicated to our father,” the author said of her younger sister.
“It will still be dedicated to our father. It won’t be a surprise anymore, but I’d like to think he suspected we’d do it. He knew us so well. He was our dad,” she ended the heartbreaking post.
The car accident occurred in Kaysville, Utah, at around 8:30 p.m. Utah Highway Patrol confirmed to Gephardt Daily, a local news outlet, that the individuals killed in the crash were Quinn’s relatives, Stephen Lewis Cotler and Ariana Elise Cotler (also known as Violet Charles).
The image that Quinn uploaded to her Instagram consisted of a heartfelt message from Steve Cotler’s children that was posted to his Facebook page, alongside a photo of Quinn’s father and sister smiling together.
“On June 29, 2021, our father Steve Cotler was killed by a drunk driver in a crash that also took the life of his youngest daughter, the noted cartoonist Violet Charles,” the Facebook post read. “Violet’s beloved service dog Michelle also perished in the crash.”
The message then went on to provide background of Cotler’s life and legacy, noting that he was a Harvard grad and that writing was his “true passion.” He was also mentioned as the author of “the celebrated Cheesie Mack series for middle grade readers and made hundreds of school visits around the country.”
The post ended with a sweet sentiment to Quinn’s father, noting: “We all should be a little more Steve.”