The 17-year-old girl who died in a two-vehicle crash in the 13800 block of Rainier Road Southeast on Saturday, March 4 has been identified as a senior from Rainier High School.
Jessie Uch died after an 18-year-old driver, who was not identified by the sheriff’s office, was traveling north when he lost control of the vehicle on a curve and entered the oncoming lane. His vehicle was struck on the passenger side of the southbound vehicle and the impact killed Uch, who was the passenger, according to the sheriff’s office.
“Jessie touched a ton of people in her lifetime and her loss has and will continue to have enormous impacts on our students, staff and community members,” said John Beckman, the principal at Rainier Middle School and Rainier High School in a letter.
Beckman stated the schools in Rainier will offer counseling and bereavement support services to its students and staff.
“If you notice any of our students having a difficult time, please encourage them to seek support or feel free to contact the child’s school,” the letter stated. “Anytime we suffer such a tragic loss of a precious young life, the community as a whole will feel the reverberations for quite some time. In times like this it is important that we continue to support each other and do what we can to ensure that our children have the supports that they need.”
The 18-year-old driver is facing vehicular homicide, driving under the influence and vehicular assault charges, according to the sheriff’s office. He was transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital and then transferred to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
The driver of the southbound vehicle, a 24-year-old Rainier woman, was transported to Providence St. Peter Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
“The investigation is ongoing and followup will be conducted to determine any other contributing factors to this collision,” the sheriff’s office wrote. “We are saddened by this senseless loss of life and stand with those affected by this incident.”
A GoFundMe has been posted online in memory of Uch. Those interested in donating can do so online at https://bit.ly/3kS7DMw.
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