Officials say unlicensed 15-year-old was driver in fatal crash


WALLA WALLA — The youngest of three teens killed in a single-vehicle crash Sunday was the driver, and apparently only one of the three was wearing a seat belt, according to an update on the investigation released at noon today.

Killed were Walla Walla High School students Athena Bentley, 15; Uziel Bermoy, 16; and Aidan Boede, 17.

A news release issued jointly by the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s and Coroners offices identified Bentley as the driver of the blue 2005 Dodge Neon when it went off Mill Creek Road near Seven Mile Road. There was no indication she was wearing a seat belt, nor did she have a driver’s license.

Boede was in the back seat and also was apparently not wearing a seat belt, according to the release

Bermoy was riding in the front passenger seat and evidence indicates he was wearing a seat belt. The car was registered to Bermoy’s father.

Deputies found the car resting on its top at about 3 a.m. Sunday.

Autopsies were performed Tuesday.

The Sheriff’s Office has maintained that speed was a factor in the crash. Toxicology reports are pending.

Further details were not immediately available from the Sheriff’s Office.


Myinput 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Is it really necessary to publish every detail of this tragedy, NO! It won't help anyone heal and will just make people more sad. Keep this private and let the familes grieve.


tkmcgowen 6 months, 3 weeks ago

it might not help anyone heal, but it might, JUST MIGHT make other teens aware of potential consequences of not wearing a seatbelt, driving without a license, etc. and just save a life or two. As sad as it may be, it is very news-worthy. So far, I think the UB has handled the story very tactfully with regard for the grieving families. Reporting on this tragedy also helps to curtail the rumor mill.


scooterwa2 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Tkmcgowen: As a teacher at WaHi, I totally echo your comments. It was as if your were listening to my lunch time conversation today. This is an unspeakable tragedy, but one that hopefully will influence the decisions of teenagers in the valley.


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