An SUV plowed into a group of students walking near their high school Wednesday, killing two of the students and leaving two others with serious injuries, the Washington State Patrol said.
The accident happened at about 1:40 p.m. Wednesday in Ferndale, a few blocks away from Windward High School. A group of 30 students and a teacher from a gym class were walking when the accident happened.
Shane Ormiston, 18, and Gabriel Anderson, 15, both of Ferndale, were killed, the State Patrol said. The injured students are 17 years old.
The driver – identified as William Klein of Bellingham – was arrested and charged with two counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault, Washington State Patrol Trooper Mark Francis said.
Shelley Hardt was working nearby when the crash occurred.
“Just heard just the worst yell – just, ‘No! No! No!’ ” Hardt told ABC-affiliated station KOMO-TV. “You knew that something really, really bad had happened. So I ran outside as fast as I could.”
The teacher was distraught, Hardt said.
“He was very, very upset and crying and walking around. I don’t think he knew what to do. I don’t think anybody knew what to do,” she told KOMO-TV.
The Ferndale School District released a statement as information emerged about the accident.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Shane and Gabriel, and their families. We also offer condolences to all the Windward High students and staff,” the statement reads.
A community gathering was organized in the hours following the accident, and a candlelight vigil is scheduled for Saturday. Additionally, counselors will be available at the school.
The investigation into the crash is ongoing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.