11:21 PM: The State Patrol and other agencies are dealing with a deadly one-vehicle crash at the Cloverdale overpass where 509/99 meet – avoid the area. The crash brought down a big sign – see the WSP-tweeted photo above – and Trooper Rick Johnson says that’ll mean a long closure on the NB side. More as we get it.
11:39 PM: Thanks to the reader who texted this wider view:
A nearby resident says the driver hit the pole at high speed. [map]
12:49 AM: Still closed.
7:30 AM: As noted elsewhere, NB is still closed as crews deal with the sign. SB reopened overnight. Meantime, WSP’s media update says the driver was a 17-year-old Seattle resident.
UPDATE: The 99/509 crash scene has reopened as of 8:33 am.
2:26 PM: Seattle Public Schools has confirmed what was first reported in comments below – that the victim was a West Seattle High School student. Here’s the letter WSHS principal Brian Vance has just sent to families:
Dear West Seattle High School families,
It is with a heavy heart that I share the tragic news that one of our students, Jonathan Teso-Rueda was killed in a car accident on Thursday night. Jonathan was a bright, talented and well-liked student at West Seattle High School. His sense of humor and big, caring heart will be missed. As a community, I know we will come together to not only support Jonathan’s family, but one another.
We will have counselors available at West Seattle High School on Monday, July 9 from 9 am-12 pm for students needing support or wanting to be with their friends on campus.
When someone dies, particularly suddenly, it’s normal for children and teens to have different kinds of feelings and reactions. Parents and guardians have important roles in helping students understand about death.
Here are some suggestions for how to help students
• Stick to facts. Answer questions factually.
• Remain calm and reassuring. Students take their cues from their parents and adults.
• Be a good listener and observer. Pay attention to changes in behavior.
• Be especially loving and supportive; children and teens need you even more at this time.
We recognize that even if your student may not have known or been close to Jonathan, or his family, he/she may still feel a strong reaction. We also realize this may be your student’s first experience with death or it may trigger feelings about other deaths your child may have experienced. This is an opportunity for students and families to acknowledge their grief and express their feelings about a sudden loss for which they have no control over.
Please take care and we will share information about any events to support students, staff and families if and/or when they become available.
West Seattle High School