News

Spring Street International School student clings to life after crash that killed three in Ballard

A student at Spring Street International School in Friday Harbor is clinging to life at Harborview Medical Center after an Easter morning crash that killed three young men in Ballard.

The girl, who is described by the school as an international student and a minor, was a passenger in the car when it struck a steel pole, part of a restaurant sign, near N.W. 54th and N.W. Market streets, in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

The three dead men were identified as Mike Turner and Kellen Jones, both 20, and 19-year-old Spenser Millard. The three men were 2008 Ballard High School graduates. It was Turner's red 1986 Pontiac Firebird that crashed.

"We're really broken up about it," school Admissions Director Jerry Riley said. "A blow to one of us is a blow to all of us. We're rallying together as a family."

Students were told about the crash on Monday in an assembly, and professionals in the community are available for counseling through the week. Spring Street Head of School Louis O'Prussack is at Harborview with the girl's family, Riley said.

The Seattle Police Department issued the followed statement about the crash:

"On April 4 at approximately 4:41 a.m., officers responded to a one-vehicle collision near NW 54th Street and NW Market Street. Preliminary investigation indicates that a red 1986 Pontiac Firebird with four occupants was traveling westbound on NW Market Street at a high rate of speed. Near the intersection with NW 54th Street, the Firebird left the roadway, crossed the sidewalk and collided with a steel pole (part of a restaurant sign). SFD medics were called to the scene.

"The driver of the car, along with two of the other vehicle occupants, all adult males in their 20s, died as a result of the collision. A female in her mid-teens, who was sitting in the back seat behind the driver, was transported to Harborview Medical Center by SFD medics with life-threatening injuries.

"It is unknown at this time if alcohol was a factor in the collision. Traffic Collision Investigation Squad detectives responded to the scene and continue to actively investigate."

Riley described the girl as a teen international student; earlier, another school employee described her as Korean, but Riley would not confirm her nationality. Riley said this is the student's second year at Spring Street School and that she lives in the school dorm, the former Blair House bed and breakfast.

Riley said the girl is "a really neat kid" and a "very talented artist" who has traveled with the school on experiential education trips.

Riley said the girl sustained a head trauma and underwent surgery at Harborview to relieve pressure on her brain. He said she is in Harborview's ICU in critical condition.

Riley said the girl and a classmate checked out of school for Easter weekend. The classmate is a friend of the young men who were killed, he said. "She went with another female student. It was Easter weekend and it was our understanding she would be with friends."

The classmate was not in the car and was not injured. However, she was not in school today and is with her parents. Riley said she was "shaken up."

The school expected to issue an update when more information about the injured girl's condition is known.

Riley said students are creating cards and other expressions of well wishes to take to Harborview. Riley said members of the community who wish to extend their well wishes to the girl and her family can deliver their messages to Julie Carlson, office administrator, at the school. The school will deliver the messages to the girl and her family.

Spring Street International School has 70 students and 19 or 20 employees, 16 of which are teachers, Riley said. The school is located in the historic Nash House — residence of an early Friday Harbor mayor and state legislator — on Spring Street and Blair Avenue. Other school buildings include classrooms next door and the dorm on Blair Avenue. Countries represented in this year's student body include China, Ethiopia, South Korea, Spain and Sri Lanka.

— UPDATE: The Seattle Times reports, "Dead driver faced DUI in prior wreck"

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Aug 20 edition online now. Browse the archives.