PORT ORCHARD — Friends of the late 18-year-old Rebekah Barrett and 17-year-old Shanaia Bennett gathered late Monday at Baby Doll Road and La Salle to ligh candles to remember their friends who were killed in a high-speed crash Monday night.
“It’s been a long day. The family is just devastated,” said Barrett’s Uncle James Gabryshak. “We lost one of our little princesses and we just celebrated her 18th birthday.”
Seventeen-year-old Shanaia, known as Shay, was the front seat passenger in Barrett’s Toyota Camry, and a student at Henderson Bay Alternative School. Both girls were known for their outgoing and friendly personalities.
“She was bubbly, vivacious, fun, exciting and comedic,” said Gabryshak.
“They’re both just the sweetest girls. They were honestly the nicest and always had a smile on their face, always had something nice to say about someone,” said friend Joey Breshon.
At the time of the crash, investigators say Rebekah and her boyfriend, 20-year-old Robert Rundquist, were racing each other. They described it as a game of leap-frog, speeding up to 60 mph on the narrow residential road.
“Robert and Rebekah loved each other,” said friend Devon Davis. “He would never harm anybody especially his girlfriend. He would never harm her.”
Now, Rundquist is being charged with these girls’ deaths, two counts of vehicular homicide. It’s a big eye opener for their friends.
“People around here always speed around acting like they’re invincible, but they’re not and this is definitely a wake-up call,” said friend Chris Caldwell.