Word spread fast among the school-age population in Deer Park about the crash late Friday night.
Two well-known teens remained hospitalized in critical condition after the wreck, which police said was alcohol-related. On Monday, students at Deer Park High School talked about the three students involved in the accident, and school officials brought in an extra counselor to provide support.
“Everyone was talking about it,” said one student between classes.
In a small community like Deer Park, population 3,045, a wreck like this affects everyone, said Principal Trip Goodall. Despite the use of cautionary lessons through mock car crashes and programs like Students Against Drunk Driving, drinking-and-driving crashes still happen, he said.
“These students don’t think it will happen to them,” Goodall said. “This is a reminder it can happen like that.”
The crash occurred Friday night in north Spokane. The three teens were riding in a 1971 Ford Bronco when it lost control while passing a car on its way back from a party near Horseshoe Lake in Stevens County, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the three teens had been drinking. A roll bar was installed in the orange Bronco, but none of the three teens was wearing seatbelts.
Passenger Brandon A. Baynes, 18, was ejected from the back seat. He’s in critical condition at Deaconess Medical Center. The driver, Brian J. Reynolds, is also in critical condition at Sacred Heart Medical Center. Reynolds’ younger cousin, Gary Reynolds, suffered head injuries in the crash and was listed as stable after the accident.
The older Reynolds could face two counts of vehicular assault, said Dave Thornburg, a Spokane County sheriff’s deputy who was at the crash site. Reynolds may have suffered severe spinal cord damage, which could determine whether charges are filed, Thornburg said.
The investigation is ongoing.
Deer Park High School was a somber scene Monday. From breakfast on, students talked about the crash, said freshman Waylan Cork.
Fawna Serna, 16, learned of the crash Saturday morning from her older brother. She’s neighbors with Reynolds and is familiar with the sight of the orange Bronco. “I was just crying,” Serna said. “I’m really good friends with Brian and Gary.”
Serna planned to visit them in the hospital, but the family said through school staff that friends should wait to visit. A lot of people were planning visits, Serna said.
“They’re real popular. All the Reynolds are,” Serna said.
Members of the Reynolds and Baynes families were contacted through the hospital and declined to be interviewed for this story.
Friday night is not something Casey Prim will soon forget.
Prim was in a vehicle behind the Bronco. She recognized the vehicle as they both drove south on Sherman Road in north Spokane County.
Prim watched as the orange Bronco sped to pass another car, then lost control and flipped over several times.
“I just panicked,” Prim said, 17. “I knew who it was.” They stopped to help, as did many others who passed by.
Before officials arrived, people at the scene pulled Reynolds from underneath a tire. “His shirt was caught there,” said Thornburg, pointing out the right front tire.
The Bronco was seized as evidence and was moved to a lot behind the Spokane County Public Safety Building.
Later on the night of the crash, there was another accident on North Division related to the same party, Thornburg said. Thornburg said he wished the best for the family, but he’s frustrated.
“I’ve been to Deer Park. I’ve talked to the kids up there,” Thornburg said. “This is 100 percent preventable, the drinking and driving.”