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Silverton teacher and teen killed in crash near Molalla

Cause of accident remains under investigation


CONTRIBUTED BY TRAVIS LOOSE - Doug Bonham  on Thanksgiving 2015. A Silverton teacher and his teenage passenger died in a one-car crash just outside Molalla Friday evening, March 4.

At about 7:15 p.m., a passerby reported the accident near the 32000 block of South Palmer Road.

Molalla Police officers and responders from the Molalla Fire District arrived on the scene just after 7:15 p.m. to find both occupants of a 2005 Honda Accord dead, said Deputy Hayden Sanders.

The driver, Douglas Bonham, 30, taught fifth and sixth grades at Bethany Charter School. He was a co-owner of Silverton Gymnastics with his wife, Megan, family members said.

Matthew Albrecht, 16, of Woodburn, was the only passenger, Sanders said. The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Investigators said alcohol is not believed to have been a factor, but speed could have contributed to the crash.

Bonham was described by his brother-in-law Travis Loose as “an amazing guy.”

“A loss like this is pretty tremendous,” Loose said. “I expect it will be felt throughout the community. There's going to be a lot of people who will be shaken by this. Doug touched a lot of lives at that school.”

Loose is a reporter for the Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune, which are sister papers of the Molalla Pioneer.

A friend and coworker of Bonham's, Kori Bolf, called him “the most profound individual” she had ever met. “He loved his family,” Bolf said. “He loved his wife and his kids. And he was an amazing teacher.”

A devout Christian, Bonham was active in his church, Dayspring Fellowship in Keizer, Bolf said. Bonham is survived by his wife and their two children.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with information from the sheriff's office and family members.