ATHENA — Weston-McEwen High School students and staff gathered Wednesday to grieve and remember 16-year-old Michael Newbold.
Newbold died early Tuesday in a car crash on back road in eastern Umatilla County. The two other Weston Hi teens in the crash remain in the hospital.
Athena-Weston schools Superintendent Laure Quaresma recalled Newbold as a sweet youth.
“Just a fun-loving kid,” she said. “The kid with the goofy smile.”
Athena-Weston schools are closed for the summer, but the district Wednesday morning opened the high school library in Athena for students and staff to meet with crisis counselors. A “nice-sized group” of students came, Quaresma said, and she spent most of Wednesday with them. They made beaded necklaces and candles as mementos, she said, and they talked and shared.
A few students who were away for the summer came back to the school Wednesday.
“That was a real tribute to Michael,” Quaresma said.
Three teens were in the 1997 Ford Thunderbird that crashed early Tuesday into a tree over an embankment off Wildhorse Road near Indian Grade Road in Umatilla County. Newbold was the only fatality.
The sheriff’s office reported Logan Foster, 18, of Weston, was the driver, and a 15-year-old girl also was in the car. Both survived and are in the hospital. Foster graduated from Weston-McEwen High School this year, and the girl also is a student.
The youths who met Wednesday crafted gifts for the pair and visited them in the hospital, Quaresma said, and showed some real maturity in coming up with ways to help support the Newbold family with meal trains and more.
Quaresma added the school may hold another session Thursday in Weston, and there was discussion of an event for the community. Weston-McEwen High is small, and the students know each other well, she said, and they have a sense of family, and that matters a lot at this time.
“They’re going to need each other,” she said.