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Co-owner of Utah's Caffe Ibis dies in motorcycle crash

Published April 12, 2014 10:37 pm

Cache County • Investigators suspect the truck driver who caused the crash was drunk.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Randy Wirth, the co-owner of a Logan coffee company, died Saturday following a crash that investigators suspect was caused by a drunken driver.

Wirth, 67, co-owned Caffe Ibis Coffee Roasting Co. in downtown Logan with his wife Sally Sears. The company sells its coffee at its Logan cafe and packaged coffee in grocery stores across the state.

Investigators plan to pursue a vehicular homicide charge against Alvin Henson, the 40-year-old Millville man they suspect was driving a pickup truck while under the influence Thursday evening.

Just after 7:30 p.m., Henson was driving east on 200 South in Millville. Witnesses described his driving as erratic, according to a Cache County Sheriff's Office news release.

Henson's truck crossed into the westbound lanes and hit a Cadillac DeVille near 140 West. Somehow, Wirth was also struck during the accident, according to the release.

"None of the witnesses or any of the drivers saw the motorcycle and it is still unclear where the motorcycle was in relation to the other vehicles," according to the release, published Friday.

Due to his injuries, investigators were never able to speak with Wirth either, said Cache County sheriff's Lt. Mike Peterson. An accident reconstruction team was back at the crash site Saturday.

Wirth was taken in an ambulance to Logan Regional Hospital. A helicopter then flew him to McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden.

Peterson confirmed Wirth died Saturday afternoon. No one in the Cadillac was hurt, according to the release.

Deputies who responded to the crash immediately recognized evidence of alcohol use with both Henson and his 29-year-old passenger, the release adds. The two had suffered minor injuries and were taken to Logan Regional Hospital.

Henson was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence as soon as he was released from the hospital Thursday night. He is being held without bail and has an arraignment scheduled for Monday.

Sears and Wirth started a health food store in 1976 before specializing in coffee. Their family business became the award-winning Caffe Ibis, which offers Triple Certified Coffees — the industry's highest standard. The couple traveled half-way around the world to meet the farmers who grew their coffee.

The couple were "birds of a feather," said Jim Goodwin, a friend of Wirth's. "You never really said one [name] without the other. It was like Randy and Sally were one word."

Goodwin remembers his friend as a good-humored man who set a strong example, along with his wife, on how to run a sustainable business and act as good stewards to the environment. Just two days before the accident, a Utah State University professor asked Wirth and Sears to talk to a class about their fair-trade business — a guest lecture that elicited a great and inquisitive response from the students, some of whom stayed after class to talk with the couple more, Goodwin said.

"It will be strange not to have Randy in our midst," he said. "… I would say too that he's not replaceable, that's for sure, and we can all honor his life by each of us leading a more sustainable life. It's the best gift that we could give him."

mmcfall@sltrib.com

Twitter: @mikeypanda —

From the archives

From Aug. 8, 2009: At Caffe Ibis in Logan, social change is brewing.