Friends of Port Orchard crash victims hold candlelight vigil

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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.”

teensRebekah is a former South Kitsap High School student and played soccer there.  Her Facebook page was flooded with messages from friends today.

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.

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  • Guest

    It's too bad that he has to be charged if he wasn't the driver. From what it sounds like, she chose to race. The poor kid is probably debased enough. Can't we call that his punishment and call it a day so these people can heal or do we need to throw everyone in prison? If I am missing something here, I'll take back what I said.

    Thoughts and prayers to all involved. Kids need to realize they are not invincible. Sadly many will die tho.