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'He was a quiet leader': Principal remembers 2019 Ferris HS grad who died in Spokane Co. crash

The crash happened on Thursday afternoon at the intersection of South Freya Road and South Baltimore Road in south Spokane County.

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — Counselors were on hand for students and staff at Ferris High School on Friday after a 2019 graduate was killed in a crash just one day earlier. 

According to family members, the victim was Kellen Erickson. 

Spokane Public Schools spokesperson Brian Coddington confirmed on Thursday night that Erickson graduated from Ferris High School. 

He later added that both the boy's and girl's basketball games against Mt. Spokane High School are canceled on Friday as the school mourns the loss.

With a younger sister who still attends the school, several students and staff members were impacted Friday.

"We call ourselves the Ferris family, and I think we all just need time to kind of put our arms around each other and help each other through something like this," said Ferris High School Principal Ken Schutz.

Erickson played basketball for the Saxons. The late student was also on the soccer team and clearly was well known at school.

"It's a somber and quiet day. We have all our counselors available to talk to kids and staff. He was a quiet leader. He was involved in all aspects of our school. Kids liked this particular young man. He just had that special gift to make everyone around him feel a little bit happier when they were around him," Schutz said.

Flowers have been placed at the site of the crash where Erickson died. 

According to Spokane County Sheriff's Corporal Mark Gregory, the crash occurred around 12:15 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of South Freya Road and South Baltimore Road. 

Gregrory said one car struck a tree near the intersection. 

Spokane County Fire District 8 officials said the car caught fire but the driver, Erickson, was pulled out by bystanders. They said said when crews arrived on scene the bystanders were attempting CPR. 

Gregory said Erickson was headed south on Baltimore, failed to negotiate a curve and struck a tree at what appears to be a high rate of speed. 

He said Erickson wasn't wearing a seatbelt and it's unclear if impairment was a contributing factor in the crash.

South Baltimore Road was closed at East Clark Road while crews on scene investigated. The roadway reopened just before 6 p.m. 

Traffic Unit Investigators are working to determine the factors that lead to the crash.

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