THIS CORRECTED ARTICLE includes DETAILS MISSING FROM THE JULY 3 EDITION.

Two Graham teenagers were killed when a Volkswagen Beetle collided with a semi-truck and trailer in Graham June 25, according to the Washington State Patrol.

Troopers said the Volkswagen was destroyed and the truck damaged. Neighbors said the semi-truck driver escaped moments before both vehicles caught fire.

The Volkswagen driver, Gaven Seastrum of Graham, 16, died from blunt force head injury in the collision, according to the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s office. A passenger, 15-year-old Angel Collins, also died at the scene, of multiple traumatic injuries, according to the medical examiner’s office.

Troopers said Seastrum was driving a black Volkswagen Beetle south on Highway 161; and a green Freightliner truck, hauling a trailer, was driving north; when the Volkswagen began turning left onto 244th Street and collided with the truck.


“This is at the crest of a hill. The truck tried to stop. There were skid marks for a couple of hundred feet,” said Joy Manning, who lives on 243rd Street nearby the scene of the collision. “His truck was crunched and he was able to get out the window. Within minutes there was a big ‘boom.’ Had he not gotten out, he would have perished. It was horrible.”

Manning said the shrubs and trees where they landed were all burned. “Neighbors were able to give a chair to the badly shaken truck driver as he was unable to stand,” she said.

Manning said a cross with the name “Angel” now stands on the east side of Meridian Avenue near the scene of the accident.

Troopers said the driver, Alberto J Milan Cruz, 40, of Yelm, was not injured.

The State Patrol said belts and restraints were used.