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Granite Falls teenager dies from injuries sustained in auto accident

Shaylynn Wietersen - Courtesy photo
Shaylynn Wietersen
— image credit: Courtesy photo

ARLINGTON — A 16-year-old Granite Falls girl died Tuesday, Dec. 8, after a vehicle she was riding in went off the road and hit a tree earlier that day.

Shaylynn Wietersen, a sophomore at Granite Falls High School, was initially airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with critical injuries suffered from the collision, said Rebecca Hover, public information officer for the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office.

She died later that day, authorities announced Wednesday, Dec. 9.

Authorities said a 17-year-old boy, also a student at Granite Falls, driving a Toyota 4Runner was trying to pass a Jeep Cherokee carrying Wietersen and her 17-year-old brother in the 13300 block of Burn Road.

The two vehicles allegedly collided, which forced the Jeep off the road, Hover said.

The 17-year-old boy driving the Jeep suffered minor injuries and was taken to a local hospital for evaluation, while the 17-year-old boy driving the Toyota was not injured.

Hover said that the stretch of road was a no-passing zone. No citations have been issued and no arrests have been made.

The crash is under investigation, Hover said.

Granite Falls School District spokesperson Kathy Grant said Wednesday that the involved teenagers were on their way to school when the collision occurred.

She said she was notified of the crash at approximately 7:15 a.m. Tuesday, and within minutes she had received several calls reporting the collision.

Grant said that there was a staff meeting at the high school at 7 a.m. to discuss what had happened. She said teachers had spoken with their individual classrooms this morning to tell students about what had happened.

Some students went home after hearing the news, while other spoke with the school's counseling staff, she said.

Students have also been making posters and cards for the family.

"Our counseling center has been open all day and our school principal Eric Cahan has been in and out of classrooms all day," Grant said. "We'll be supporting the kids every way we can over the next few weeks."

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