A single-car accident April 24 near the Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor claimed one life and sent three other teens to area hospitals.
According to Gig Harbor Fire and Medic One, the call came in as a rollover accident. Two medic rigs, two engines, an extraction rig and a command rig responded. A front seat passenger was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma, and two other passengers were taken to St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor.
Noah Turgman, 16, a junior at Peninsula High School, was killed in the accident, which was reported at 12:50 a.m.
Peninsula School District mobilized a crisis team over that weekend and was ready to meet with staff and students the Monday after the accident. However, through online social media sites, including Facebook, teens were already mobilizing on their own as soon as they heard the news.
Less than 24 hours after the accident, a group was gathering in a neighborhood near the high school. More than 100 teenagers arrived at Jake Nixon’s home in the Wellington Ridge neighborhood in Gig Harbor April 24 to mourn the death of Turgman, talk, cry, laugh and decorate posters for his family.
“He was a great guy and everyone got along with him and you’d say something to him and were like instantly best friends with the guy,” said Nixo n, 16. “He was just that kind of person; a nice spirit, a nice guy.”
Bryan Schroeder, 16, said he and Turgman were best friends. “I want people to know how great a kid he was. He did whatever he could to help pretty much anyone. He gave me gas money if I was getting low. He was in CIP (Community Inclusion Program), helping out the kids with special needs. He did all these great things that helped the community. He’s got a lot of community service hours also. I loved him and he’s my best friend.”
Peninsula School District Superintendant Terry Bouck said the crisis team includes specially trained members of the staff.
“They work with staff and administration initially,” he said in an interview April 25. “They will be there as many days as we need them to be. We’re here to support and assist staff, students and families that are impacted.”
Kelly Maxfield contributed to this report.