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‘She possessed a genuine kindness’: Kentlake HS senior killed, mom critically injured in crash

KENT, Wash. — A Kentlake High School senior was killed and her mom was critically injured after they were hit by a man on the run from police. The tragedy happened just after midnight Friday and is sending waves of grief throughout the community and the girl’s school.

King County deputies were initially called to the Covington Fred Meyer parking lot. There they found the suspect, 28-year-old Anthony Carpenter passed out in what turned out to be a stolen car. He saw them and took off. Less than a half mile away, he’d hit the mom and daughter.

The impact killed Carpenter and 17-year-old Nasturcia Baileigh. Her little brother said in a letter to their school that the world wouldn’t be the same without her.

“Sturcia’s best friend and greatest source of strength was her mom, and her siblings meant the world to her. Whether it was thrifting with me, family movie and game night she loved the time spent together,” read Kentlake High School Principal Heidi Maurer.

Maurer read from that letter she helped the Baileigh family craft to notify staff and students of Nasturcia’s sudden and tragic passing just days before Thanksgiving. In that letter, her little brother shares how much his big sister meant to him and both their classmates at Kentlake High.

“When you have the student you lost plus a family member here the impact is more pervasive because you’re not only supporting the students that were friends with the student passed but you’re also supporting the sibling’s friends as well,” said Principal Maurer.

King County Sheriff’s Office said the deputies who initially responded to the Fred Meyer did not turn on their lights and sirens, but Carpenter sped off anyway. Court records show Carpenter has a criminal history spanning back to 2013. He’s also been involved in two previous hit-and-runs, one in 2020 and another in 2021.

The teenager he killed Friday is the oldest of Sarah Baileigh’s four kids.

“I also can’t help but think about the depth of the grief that Sturcia’s mother is feeling at this time because you cannot - I can’t imagine it I don’t want to ever have to feel that level of grief,” said Principal Maurer.

She said she, school staff, and students are feeling the impact.

Mobile counselors are stationed at the school until further notice. Regularly staffed counselors are also helping students cope with losing their friends, and her sophomore-aged brother with losing his big sister.

“She possessed a genuine kindness that touched and uplifted everyone around her. The world will never be the same without her and she will be greatly missed by everyone who’s lucky to know her,” read Principal Maurer.

That line came from Nasturcia’s little brother’s portion of the letter. In it, he also shares how she loved reading, drawing, experimenting in the kitchen, and all things vintage.

Her mom, Sarah, said in a social media post she’s still in the hospital and has more surgeries ahead. She also has some internal injuries. There is a GoFundMe set up to help the Baileigh family during this time.