"I have lost my father, and I don't have my sister with whom to grieve," Bridgerton author Julia Quinn said in a Facebook post Wednesday night. She said father Steve Cotler, 77, and sister Ariana Cotler, 37, were killed in a crash involving a drunk driver in Utah, People reports. They died "because a catering company did not secure their load and canvas bags spilled onto the highway," she wrote. "Because a pickup driver thought nothing of driving while his blood alcohol level was nearly 3 times the legal limit." Authorities say a Ford F-250 crashed into the Toyota Prius driven by Steve Cotler after the Prius and another vehicle stopped because of the debris.
The Utah Highway Patrol said the pickup driver was arrested for DUI after the June 29 crash on I-15 in Kaysville. Steve Cotler was also an author, best known for the Cheesie Mack series for middle-school readers, while Ariana Cotler, also known as Violet Charles, was a cartoonist, USA Today reports. Quinn, 51, whose novel series became a hit Netflix show, said she had just finished writing a graphic novel with her younger sister. "It was dedicated to our father," she wrote on Facebook. "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." (Read more Bridgerton stories.)