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Scappoose teen dies in crash along Cornelius Pass Road

Car found down embankment near North West Cornelius Pass Road, just north of Skyline Boulevard


CLARK FAMILY PHOTO - Clark

A Scappoose teen girl was killed Wednesday morning, May 6, in a single-vehicle crash on Northwest Cornelius Pass Road.

Kerrigan Clark, 17, died when her 2002 Ford Focus veered off Cornelius Pass Road, just north of Northwest Skyline Boulevard, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office reported Wednesday.

Clark’s car was found in a ravine down a steep embankment along the single-lane road.

A motorist flagged down a deputy just before 11 a.m., after she reported seeing a car about 50 to 75 feet down an embankment on the side of the road, a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office news release indicates.

“The person informed the deputy she had walked down from Skyline Blvd after she spotted smoke or dust coming up from the side of the road in the area as she passed in her vehicle,” the release states.

Ron Youngberg, a division chief with Columbia River Fire & Rescue, said he was on his way back to the St. Helens fire station from a breakfast meeting when he was flagged down near the crash site and stopped to help.

Youngberg made his way down the embankment, where he found the girl’s body in the car. She was the only person in the car.

“I left before they really cut into the car,” Youngberg said. “We knew what the outcome was.”

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue was dispatched to the scene after the car was discovered.

Cornelius Pass Road was closed between Highway 30 and Skyline Boulevard for nearly four hours after the crash. It reopened around 3:45 p.m.

Multnomah County’s Vehicular Crimes Team is investigating the crash, which was one of two deadly crashes involving Columbia County residents this week.

JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - A candle is placed among others in memory of Kerrigan Clark Wednesday evening at Branches Church in Scappoose. A vigil was held for the teen who died Wednesday morning in a crash.

News of Clark’s death spread quickly at Scappoose High School, where Clark was a student.

School administrators canceled all extracurricular and athletic activities scheduled for that afternoon, Andy DeBois, principal at SHS, said Wednesday. The high school was also staffed with extra counselors for students.

On Wednesday evening, a candlelight vigil was held for Clark at Branches Church in Scappoose.

Friends, family and peers packed a gathering room at the church, sharing tears and memories of the teen.

“I didn’t realize a 16-year-old could pour so much into my life,” Chance Rice, a youth pastor at the church, said of Clark. “She was a light in the darkness. She was love in a world full of unloved people.”

Donations to Clark’s family can be made to the Kerrigan Clark Memorial Fund at St. Helens Community Federal Credit Union.

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