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St. Helens teen dies in car crash

by: Submitted photo

A 16-year-old driver was killed after his car crashed off Pittsburg Road Monday night while on the way home from a school event in Scappoose.

Bryce Stoneking, from St. Helens, was reported missing by his family to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office around 11 p.m. He was overdue to return home.

A passing driver spotted the crash scene on Pittsburg Road, near Gensman Road around midnight. Stoneking was already dead inside his 1999 Ford Escort.

After investigating the crash scene, Lt. Dustin Hald said Stoneking apparently had over-corrected his vehicle, before running off the road down a 20-foot embankment and crashing into a fir tree.

Police do not believe alcohol or drugs played a role in the accident.

Before the crashed vehicle was found, the Sheriff's Office said Stoneking's family had searched the entire route that Stoneking would have taken to get home.

Officials in the St. Helens School District plan to meet Dec. 21 to work on a plan to bring in extra counselors for students and others who may be struggling with grief.