Additional counselors were brought in this week to help students at Elma High School in the wake of the death of a student in a car crash Sunday near Warrenton, Ore.
Avery Shriver, 15, of Elma, was killed in the wreck. According to the police report, he was sitting in the front passenger seat of the 2007 Ford Focus driven by another Elma teenager, 18-year-old Ronald Cable. In the back seats were Devon Breaty, 19, of Elma and Eliana Breaty, 16, of Elma. Cable and Eliana Breaty suffered minor injuries and were transported to Columbia Memorial Hospital in Astoria. Devon Breaty’s injuries required him to be transferred to Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.
The Oregon State Patrol said the passenger car carrying the teens crossed over the center line of Highway 101 and collided with a Freightliner truck.
The driver of the Freightliner, Freddy Pina-Lopez, suffered minor injuries and was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital.
The wreck occurred just over a month after Elma High School participated in the Every 32 minutes program, which works to educate students on the dangers of impaired or distracted driving.
“There are some very sad students and a subdued atmosphere,” Elma Superintendent Kevin Acuff said after speaking with Elma High School Principal Darrin Lowry as to the mood at EHS.
“We had counselors here for support, and we’re just trying to get through it,” he continued.
Devon Breaty is currently recovering at Oregon Health and Science University, where he underwent surgery for a fractured leg and a partially amputated big toe. The conditions of Cable, Eliana Breaty and Pina-Lopez were unavailable.
“He is definitely doing better; he’s kind of mobile and is up, aware and talking,” said Breaty’s father, Joshua Zwart, after visiting him Monday.
Breaty is physically improving, but Zwart says his son is still struggling with the loss of his dear friend, Shriver.
“He’s definitely devastated. … They were close friends who had known each other for many years,” he said.
Zwart noted that all other injuries aside, a life was lost.
“There was a 15-year-old boy whose life was lost, and that’s beyond any other injuries; everyone involved is just very sad over the loss of that boy’s life,” he said.
Those who knew Shriver are filling social media pages with condolences and fond memories of the young man. Acuff said he knew Shriver and commented on the loss. “I thought that Avery Shriver was absolutely full of life.”