GRAHAM, Wash. – The Pierce County Medical Examiner has identified the two young people killed in a violent crash Tuesday.
The teenagers were also both students at Graham-Kapowsin High School and their deaths have rocked the tightly-knit communities.
Officials identified the victims as 16-year-old Gaven Seastrum and 15-year-old Angel Collins.
Troopers at the Washington State Patrol say Tuesday’s crash is a painful and stark reminder that summertime can be dangerous for teenagers on our roads.
Thursday afternoon, flowers could be found near where two young people lost their lives in a tragic car crash on Tuesday.
“It’s a bad one,” Trooper Johnna Batiste said on Tuesday.
The crash was violent – it closed SR 161 for several hours. Troopers say the driver of the passenger car, Seastrum, turned left in front of a north-bound semi-truck. Riding in Seastrum’s passenger seat was Collins, they both died at the scene.
“I could see the smoke coming up from Orting,” said Steve Olson who lives nearby, adding the stretch of highway can be dangerous.
“If we’re coming from the south I do not turn left into my driveway,” he said. “I’ll drive down to the end of the hill and come back up so I can turn right. It’s that dangerous.”
Both Collins and Seastrum were students at Graham-Kapowsin High School. District officials say they brought in counselors for those attending summer school.
A district spokesperson shared a statement with Q13 News that read in part:
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families involved during this horrific time. We are also thinking of all the GK students and staff that knew and were friends with these two students."
“We are in the 100 deadliest days where in summertime kids are home from school, families are traveling,” said Batiste.
Troopers say crashes like Tuesday’s are a horrible reminder of the dangers all of us face on the road during this time of year.
“We just continue to encourage drivers to make sure they’re paying attention to their surroundings, minding the speed limit and making sure they have no distractions in their car,” she said.
One of the victim’s family members told Q13 News a candlelight vigil is planned for Sunday evening for both Angel and Gaven at Frontier Park in Graham.