At car accident on Highway 13 in Oakland took the life of a 19-year-old Berkeley student early yesterday morning. The young man had reportedly intended to pursue a career in medicine. In 2011 he had been award a Gates Millennium Scholarship Award. Clearly this was a young man who had a great deal going for him and likely had the brightest of futures.
According to local news reports, the student had been driving on Highway 13 with three passengers when a fallen tree ahead of them blocked the road. All four of the occupants got out of the car. As the young man was still standing near his car, a pickup truck travelling southbound struck the fallen tree. The pickup truck then went into the air and struck the students stopped car knocking the car into the student, killing him.
The force of the pickup truck's collision with the tree also knocked the tree off the side of the road. This trapped a woman who had been a passenger in the student's car. Firefighters reportedly had to use a chainsaw to free her. There is not yet any indication of whether alcohol or drugs may have been a factor in the crash or if the driver of the pickup may face any charges.
It is difficult to imagine the heartbreak that an accident like this can cause the family of the one who has been lost. Unlike an illness, there is no warning when someone is killed in a car accident.
Source: The Daily Californian, "UC Berkeley freshman Kevin Lacanlale dies at 19," Daphne Chen, March. 15, 2012