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Alexsandria Heaton, 16 -- Car Accident

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Alexsandria J. Heaton, known as Ali, died at St. John Medical Center Tuesday night, where she was taken with head, neck and chest injuries, according to the Washington State Patrol.

The 16-year-old high school junior moved to Castle Rock two years ago and had numerous friends at the school, where she served on the cheerleading squad last year and again this fall and winter, said Principal Henry Karnofski.

"She was a really nice, polite young woman. You don't hear a bad word about her from anyone," Karnofski said. "She was a real good addition to the school."

The school called in counselors to deal with the loss, and volunteers from the Castle Rock Ministerial Association also were on hand Wednesday for anyone who needed to talk. Heaton was well-known by all students because she helped produce the daily televised school bulletin as part of the media class, Karnofski said.

Wednesday night's girls basketball game at R.A. Long High School was cancelled in observance of Heaton's death, as was a Future Business Leaders of America trip to Seattle.

"It's been traumatic for our school," Karnofski said. "It's affected so many people." Teachers at Coweeman Junior High School in Kelso -- where Heath was on the basketball, volleyball and track teams -- also were deeply affected, said principal Adele Marshall.

"I've been told she was really one of those dynamic kids, really involved in school, ... and someone who walked in lots of circles," Marshall said. "Our staff has been really upset today."

Heaton was killed in a two-car collision at milepost 9.7 of West Side Highway, about two miles south of Castle Rock.

The state patrol determined Heaton was driving too fast for road conditions when she took a corner north of Beverly Heights Road shortly after 8 p.m. Heaton was driving south in a 1990 Honda Accord.

Heaton's car went onto the shoulder and fishtailed, going broadside into the northbound lane where it was struck by a 1999 Dodge Durango driven by Theresa A. Rehak, 33, of Vader.



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