LYNNWOOD, Wash. - Three high school students were killed and a fourth was injured after an SUV slammed into a parked semi trailer in Lynnwood early Wednesday morning.
The three people who were killed were students at Jackson High School in Mill Creek. The survivor is a student at Cascade High School, the Everett School District says.
Police and medics responded to the scene, in the 16900 block of Alderwood Mall Parkway, about 4 a.m. after receiving reports of a serious crash, said Shari Ireton of the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.
A Kia Sorrento SUV was found wedged beneath the semi trailer. Two of the occupants were pronounced dead at the scene. Two others were still alive. They were rushed to the hospital, but one died in the ambulance on the way there.
The only survivor, a 15-year-old girl, is being treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with undisclosed injuries. She is reported to be in satisfactory condition.
A preliminary investigation found that the SUV was traveling north on Alderwood Mall Parkway when it crashed into the semi trailer. The vehicle hit the semi with such force that it became wedged beneath the trailer with its top crumpled and sheared off.
Ireton said it's legal for trucks to park trailers in the designated parking areas along Alderwood Mall Parkway. But this trailer was not parked in the correct direction, she said. The front was facing oncoming traffic. Ireton said that is a civil parking infraction.
Police say it's common for semi trucks to park along Alderwood Mall Parkway for the night. Dave Peters, principal of Jackson High, sent a letter to families on Wednesday.
"This morning we learned three of our Jackson High students were involved in a fatal car accident. A Cascade High School student was also in the accident and is in stable condition in the hospital. We are all incredibly shocked and saddened by this event. Our crisis response team met this morning to plan how to help our students and school families with this loss. Since it’s summer break it makes it challenging to reach out, but we want to make sure you had resources to help cope with this sad news," he wrote.
"Our plan at this time is to provide accurate information, opportunities for extra support if needed, and suggest you keep your routines as normal as possible to help students feel secure. We’ve made available counselors, teachers, and other helping resources so students, staff, and parents can get help if they need it. They will be at Jackson High tomorrow, July 27, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. You can help your child by simply talking and listening to them. We don’t always know how a student will be affected in a crisis, but you know your child the best of anyone. Due to previous similar events or losses, if you feel your child needs to visit with someone, please give us a call. We want to be sensitive to all of our students’ needs."