'Bridgerton' author Julia Quinn's father and sister dead in Utah crash

The crash claimed the lives of Julia Quinn's father, children's book author Steve Cotler and her sister, cartoonist Violet Charles, 37

                            'Bridgerton' author Julia Quinn's father and sister dead in Utah crash
Julia Quinn (L) has revealed that her father and younger sister have died in an accident (Instagram/@juliaquinnauthor, Facebook/CheesieMac)

'Bridgerton' author Julia Quinn has revealed that her father and younger sister died in an accident after being hit by a "drunk driver" who was reportedly three times over the drinking limit.

Police revealed how multiple vehicles were involved in the tragic accident that took place on a highway in Davis County on June 29. The crash claimed the lives of Quinn's father, children's book author Steve Cotler, 77, her sister, cartoonist Violet Charles, 37, (real name Ariana Elise Colter) as well as their service dog Michelle, Metro reported.


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“I have lost my father and my sister. Because a catering company did not secure their 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," the novelist, whose real name is Julia Pottinger, wrote on Facebook. "I have lost my father, and I don’t have my sister with whom to grieve," she continued. "I have lost my sister Violet Charles, with whom I had just finished writing a graphic novel. It was dedicated to our father."

"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 added.


In a statement, the Utah Patrol Highway confirmed the fatal crash that occurred on June 29 on the southbound Interstate 15 in Davis County. "A catering company lost their load of canvas bags onto the freeway," police said in a statement. "Two cars stopped, or nearly stopped, for the debris. A green Ford F-250 came upon the stopped traffic and collided into a red Toyota Prius out of California. The Prius then struck a silver Chevy Malibu."

Authorities revealed another male at the scene was also rushed to the hospital and is said to be in critical condition. They said the suspect's blood-alcohol level was found to be nearly three times the legal limit, albeit he suffered only minor injuries. 

Author Steve Cotler, who graduated from Harvard, was best known for writing the Cheesie Mack series of books. A post on his personal Facebook page confirmed the tragedy while giving a brief biography to eulogize the children's book author.


"Steve attended Harvard College and Harvard Business School and worked for many years in the corporate world. But his true passion was writing," the post stated. "He spent many years as a screenwriter before discovering what his family knew all along: his heart had never lost the spark of an 11-year-old boy. He wrote the celebrated Cheesie Mack series for middle-grade readers and made hundreds of school visits around the country, bringing his irrepressible spirit to thousands of children. He also served for many years on the board of The Summer Science Program, and its expansion and success was one of his proudest achievements."

That said, Quinn's sister Violet was a cartoonist who was illustrating Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron novel at the time of her death, according to her Twitter profile.

Julia Quinn shot to international fame as the author of the 'Bridgerton' series. She is currently a consultant on the Netflix adaption of her novels. 'Bridgerton', set in Victorian England, tells the stories of eight siblings and their mother. Each of the siblings finds true love.


It's worth noting that the author has sold over 10 million copies of her novels throughout her career. Netflix revealed in January that 'Bridgerton' had become its most-watched series with 82 million households tuning in following its release in December. The second season is filming now.