Two Snohomish students identified in fatal crash with wrong-way driver on West Seattle Bridge

SEATTLE — Two Snohomish High School students were killed in a crash with a wrong-way driver on the West Seattle bridge early Wednesday.

Riley Danard and Khalea Thoeuk, one a student and one a former student, were out celebrating a birthday when they were killed. They were both 18-years-old.

KIRO 7′s Lauren Donovan spoke to Thoeuk’s loved ones, who say her promising future was cut short. She was on the high school honor roll and planned to attend Western Washington University after graduation.

Melody Ward is a longtime friend of the Thoeuk family and described Khalea as wise beyond her years.

“She was thoughtful and compassionate, a talented writer, and an avid reader,” said Ward. “There is no way to prepare yourself for the loss of a child - for a parent to bury their child.”

Seattle police said they received multiple calls about a white pickup driving the wrong way in the westbound lanes of the West Seattle Bridge. Before police arrived, witnesses said the truck struck a car.

Seattle police arrived at about 12:20 a.m. and found a mangled sedan and the pickup in a westbound lane on the bridge.

Medics from the Seattle Fire Department arrived and pronounced both victims in the sedan, a teenage boy and girl, dead.

“It is with extreme sadness that I write to tell you that we have learned that two students from our Panther community have passed away after being involved in a tragic car accident early this morning,” said Snohomish High School principal Nate DuChesne. “Out of respect, student names have not been released and we are asking our Panther community to please respect these families’ privacy.”

The man who was driving the pickup was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Police said he showed signs that he was impaired. He is under investigation for vehicular homicide.

Several people said they saw the driver of the pickup earlier that night before he crashed into the students’ car.

Video shows what appears to be the same white pickup truck ramming into a car parked off 35th Avenue Southwest and then taking off headed the wrong way down the street.

“(Wednesday) morning, after I got the video from my neighbors, I looked at it and I’m like, ‘It’s got to be the same truck. The tailgate’s the same,” said Naomi Rivera, whose SUV was damaged. “I ran outside and the truck was already headed down the road.”

Lexi Fittro said she believes she saw the white pickup, too, as she was heading home just after midnight.

“My Uber driver actually pulled over and that’s when we noticed the white pickup truck ram into a sign and then proceeded to drive away really, really quickly and uncontrolled,” said Fittro.

She called 911.

“Talking to the police dispatcher, we were on the phone for about 7 minutes. She had told me that other calls (about the pickup) were coming in,” said Fittro.

Seattle Police believe the driver of the pickup who damaged the SUV on 35th Avenue Southwest is the same driver who hit and killed the teens.