Vigil held for West Linn students killed in crash

Antonio Caballero and Cooper Hill were juniors at West Linn HS

Antonio Caballero and Cooper Hill seen in a picture posted to Twitter. The West Linn students died in a crash, Feb. 21, 2015 (Courtesy photo)
Antonio Caballero and Cooper Hill seen in a picture posted to Twitter. The West Linn students died in a crash, Feb. 21, 2015 (Courtesy photo)

WEST LINN, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A vigil was held at 7 p.m. Sunday at West Linn High for two students who died in a crash in the Gorge Saturday morning.

Antonio Caballero and Cooper Hill died in the crash on Hwy 14 near milepost 54 around 11:30 a.m. They were passengers in a car sandwiched between two others, Washington State Police said.

Both were juniors at West Linn and Hill played on the lacrosse team.

About 50 West Linn High School students and one counselor gathered on the school’s football field Saturday afternoon after news of the crash became known.

Sarah McKay, a friend of both victims, described Antonio as the life of the party.

“He was one of the guys that everyone loved in our grade,” McKay said. “He walked in the hallways and we’d be sitting there laughing. He always had a smile on his face, it was just always good to see his face.”

Principal Lou Bailey, in a letter given to parents Monday morning, said the students are numb and in disbelief.

“Obviously our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the families and friends of both boys,” he wrote. “I know we all will be hurting for the loss of Cooper and Antonio.”

This is the second tragic accident to hit West Linn High School in a less than a year.

In June 2014, Maddi Higgins and Hayden Soyk died in a crash on SW Petes Mountain Road. Higgins, 17, was a student at the school, while Soyk had graduated and was attending Clackamas County Community College. He was 18.

“It’s just too much for this community and for these kids,” Patsy Gaunt, who knows Coopers family, told KOIN 6 News. “I feel like kids these ages shouldn’t have to be going through this and lose so many friends. It’s just very tragic.

The investigation into the accident is ongoing.

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