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Quadruple Fatal Traffic Crash - Highway 30 west of Clatskanie
08/10/2009
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247
Pager: (503) 323-3195

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2009-08/1002/081009.fatalx4.hwy30mp63.2.jpg 
http://www.flashalertnewswire.net/images/news/2009-08/1002/081009.fatalx4.hwy30mp63.1.jpg 
 
Four teenagers died and a fifth was critically injured Monday morning when the sport utility vehicle they were in collided with a van on Highway 30 about one mile west of Clatskanie in Columbia County. Names are being released of the Clark County, Washington teenagers who reportedly all are 2009 graduates from Ridgefield High School.
 
The ongoing investigation by Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers indicates on August 10, 2009 at approximately 11:10 a.m. a 199 Isuzu Rodeo sport utility vehicle with five teenagers, ages 17 and 18, was westbound on Highway 30 near milepost 63. As the Isuzu sport utility vehicle was attempting to pass another vehicle, the 17-year old driver identified as AJA L. GERRITY, from Ridgefield, Washington lost control and slid broadside into the eastbound lane where it was struck in the passenger side by an eastbound white Chevrolet van driven by KI YOUNG KIM, age 55, from Vancouver, Washington.
 
GERRITY and three passengers were pronounced deceased at the scene. The deceased passengers are identified as right front passenger AMANDA WILLIAMS, age 18, from Ridgefield, and two rear male passengers identified as JASON CARY CARTER, age 18, from Vancouver, and RICHARD MICHAEL ARAIZA, age 18, from Ridgefield.
 
A fifth occupant seated in the rear, DUSTIN EVAN LEITZELL, age 18, from Ridgefield, was transported by LifeFlight to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in critical condition.
 
GERRITY and WILLIAMS were using safety restraints. Use of safety restraints by the male occupants is pending confirmation during the investigation.
 
KIM was transported by ground ambulance to St. John's Hospital in Longview with serious injuries.
 
Information provided to OSP troopers is that the teenagers were enroute to the Oregon coast to spend some time together before some of them left to attend college. The schools they were planning on attending is not known at this time.
 
Highway 30 west of Clatskanie was closed in both directions until about 4:15 p.m. while OSP troopers continued the scene investigation.
 
ODOT and Columbia County Sheriff's Office assisted with traffic detour duties.
 
No additional information being released at this time.