Speed likely a factor in rollover crash that killed 3 Bainbridge Island high school students

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Investigators believe speed was a likely factor in a crash that killed three high school students on Bainbridge Island Tuesday night.

Police said crews responded about 9 p.m. to a single-vehicle crash in the 11000 block of Sunrise Drive.

The vehicle was traveling south, then left the roadway and struck several trees before rolling over. The three teens inside — 14-year-old Marina Miller, 16-year-old Hannah Wachsman and 14-year-old Hazel Kleiner — died at the scene.

All of them were students at Bainbridge High School and starters on the Bainbridge High School JV volleyball team.

“They were wonderful, vibrant young women full of hope and promise and now they are gone,” JV volleyball coach Lara Sweeney said. “There is a huge hole in our hearts and our community is absolutely shattered. We are absolutely devastated  …my heart is broken.”

Investigators believe speed was a likely factor, though the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

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Peter Bang-Knudsen, Bainbridge Island School District superintendent, shared the news in a letter sent to families:

Dear Bainbridge High School Families, 

It is with a heavy heart that I share that last night three Bainbridge High School students were involved in a single-vehicle accident. Sadly, the three students died at the scene. Out of respect for the families, we are not releasing the names of the students involved at this time. This information will also be shared with your high school student via email and in-person (if they attend the hybrid-learning model). 

These losses are sure to raise many emotions for our students, staff and the island community. BISD immobilized a Crisis Support Team and counselors will be on-hand in the Bainbridge High School Library. Students are encouraged to stop by if they are in need of emotional support. 

As a parent, you know your teen best and know how to support their needs. This may be their first experience with death or it may be that the tragedies bring back feelings from past experiences.  It is particularly difficult in this case as your teen may have known the victims or simply that your teen faces his or her own mortality for the first time. Your teen may express feelings of shock, denial, confusion, anger, or sadness. 

They may:

  • Lack energy
  • Lose their appetite
  • Withdraw from friends and family 
  • Experience difficulty sleeping  

Grief is a very individual process and there is no timeline. We encourage you to be especially vigilant in providing a safe and nurturing support system so that your teen knows that they can come to you at any time.  

As your teen processes this event, we want to continue to encourage the utilization of resources at school and within the community.  

We appreciate your support during this difficult time. 

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