Two members of the Graham-Kapowsin Girls Soccer team were seriously injured Tuesday afternoon on the way to a game at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup, Bethel School District Communication Director Krista Carlson announced today.
One young woman, Clara Vallone, died in the accident.
Vallone, along with her teammate Maryssa Beare were passengers in the vehicle, which was reported driven by a friend of the players. A fourth student was also an occupant but was reportedly uninjured.
Carlson said the girls were in the back seat of the car, which apparently had been driving at a high rate of speed up Canyon Road, somehow hitting a utility pole near 137th St.
The community first learned of this incident Wednesday morning when Superintendent Tom Seigel arrived late to the Graham Business Association meeting, and in hushed tones told Bethel School Board members Joy Cook and Brenda Rogers that a fatal car accident involving G-K students had occurred, and that he was busy helping the BSD make arrangements to communicate the incident and respond to student needs.
“It’s been very difficult for the students,” said Carlson. “It’s tough to lose one of your friends, or someone you know in school.”
Nevertheless, Carlson said she was encouraged by the response of the Graham-Kapowsin student body who wore Ms. Vallone’s favorite colors of pink, purple and blue to class on Thursday and Friday.
In addition, the GK girls’ soccer team played a game Thursday afternoon against arch-rivals Bethel High, and all 2,000 seats at Crate Field were filled.
“That’s pretty special for a girls’ soccer game,” said Carlson.
Ms. Carlson also said that a memorial service is planned for Monday at 6 pm at Graham-Kapowsin High School. However, it is uncertain at this time if the event will be open to the public.
© 2011 The Mountain News – WA
Edited, October 4, 2011.
Thomas K. Faubion – Attorney at Law