Taishawn Millage, Monserrat Hernandez-Garcia, Hayden Soyk, Madison Higgins
PORTLAND — It’s a horrible start to summer for students, teachers and parents at three high schools who are mourning the loss of classmates killed in traffic accidents. Two boys from Portland and West Linn, and a Vancouver girl were all killed this weekend in separate accidents. A fourth was taken off life support.
A graduate of Roosevelt High School was hit by a train near the St. Johns Bridge late Friday night. 18-year-old Taishawn Millage of North Portland drowned after being knocked off a railroad bridge into the Willamette River near Front Avenue. Efforts to revive him were not successful.
A Vancouver teen who was supposed to graduate this week from Hudson’s Bay High School was hit by a charter bus in downtown Portland on Sunday afternoon. The driver of an MTR Western bus hit 18-year-old Monserrat Hernandez-Garcia pulling out of the Greyhound lot at Northwest 6th and Glisan.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the accident victim. This is a terrible tragedy for everyone involved. We are deeply saddened for the family and friends of the accident victim,” said Marka Wachter, CEO of MTR Western bus company.
“Monserrat was always smiling and loved to laugh. This is a very sad loss. Our hearts go out to her family and friends, and all who knew Monserrat. The Hudson’s Bay community will miss her,” said Principal Val Seeley.
In West Linn, 18-year-old Hayden Soyk and his passenger were trapped for two hours after the car they were in hit a power pole Sunday night while speeding on Southwest Petes Mountain Road near Hoffman Road, shearing the car in half.
Madison Higgins, also 18, was critically injured. She was unresponsive and doctors say there was zero chance of her recovering. Her family made the difficult decision to take her off life support Monday night and say they will donate her organs.
Soyk graduated from the high school last year, and Higgins was a junior.
“Out of our deep respect, we are allowing these families the privacy that they need at this time to deal with their grief,” said West Linn H.S. Principal Lou Bailey.
Counselors have been at all three schools helping the community cope with these tragedies.