The four people who died when a truck crashed into a Tulalip Reservation fish pond have been identified.
The Tulalip community is mourning the deaths of four young people, including two teenagers, who drowned Tuesday morning when a pickup crashed into a roadside pond on the reservation.
The victims were identified Wednesday as Lynnishia Larson, 16, of Marysville; Tyson Walker, 21 of Tulalip; Ariela Vendiola, 15, of Marysville; and Dylan Monger, 22, of Tulalip. All drowned when the pickup veered off a bridge in the 7500 block of Totem Beach Road and landed in a Tulalip fisheries pond.
Randy Vendiola, the father of Ariela, said he had given his daughter $20 to go see “Straight Outta Compton” with her friends in Marysville on the night of the crash. Wednesday would have been her 16th birthday.
“There was a one in a million chance of rolling over in the only area where you can possibly drown in the stretch between here and where they saw the movie,” Vendiola said. “They’re so young. Here we are again.”
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Larson and Vendiola were both due to start 11th grade at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Their deaths come less than a year after the October shooting at the school when a 15-year-old freshman shot five other students, killing four, before taking his own life.
Monger and Walker had also been students in the Marysville School District, district spokesman Craig Degginger said.
“We are grieving today over the devastating loss of four young people, all current or former students in our district. We extend our support and sympathy to all of their families,” district Superintendent Becky Berg wrote in a statement. “This is yet another reminder of how fragile life is and how we must again bond together as a community.”
Larson and Ariela Vendiola were close friends, parents say. Randy Vendiola says that his daughter knew Monger and Walker from the local community.
Tulalip Tribes spokeswoman Niki Cleary says that Walker was the only one of the four who was officially a part of the Tulalip Tribes.
Family and friends say the victims will be remembered for the positive impressions they left behind. Many took to social media to express their condolences.
“I can’t believe you’re gone,” friends posted about Walker. “You were too young.”
“Lynnishia Larson was a bright and funny young lady who touched many people’s lives and left us too soon,” her adoptive mother, Melinda Martin, wrote in an email to The Seattle Times. “She could make anyone smile.”
Jennifer Monger, Dylan Monger’s sister, says her brother had an adventurous spirit. He had recently been working in construction and landscaping jobs, as well as using the carpentry skills he learned from their father to “learn how to be a young man,” she said.
“He was very active in his community and with his family, and he will be greatly missed,” Jennifer Monger said. “He was a really good kid — I’m sure he would have done really well.”
Randy Vendiola will remember his daughter for her character and ambition. She wanted to be a lawyer and was very “culturally sound,” he says. She was a member of the Southern Cheyenne tribe of Oklahoma but had lived most of her life on Tulalip land, her father said.
”She would dance hard, she would dance proud, and people respected her because of how she carried herself in the powwow circles,” Randy Vendiola said. “My daughter was a beautiful girl.”
Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives continue to investigate what caused the pickup to veer off the roadway and over the embankment, spokeswoman Shari Ireton said Wednesday.