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Crash kills one local teen, injures another

Kayla Courtney, second from left, and Shane Helm, far right, are among the group of friends gathered at the bottom of Trafton Hill to remember their friend, Adrian Allen Kuchin, who was killed Thursday, Sept. 6. -
Kayla Courtney, second from left, and Shane Helm, far right, are among the group of friends gathered at the bottom of Trafton Hill to remember their friend, Adrian Allen Kuchin, who was killed Thursday, Sept. 6.
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TRAFTON Highway 530 was closed to traffic most of Thursday night, Sept. 6, due to a crash that killed one teen boy and sent another to Harborview Hospital.
Adrian Allen Kuchin, 17, died at the scene of the crash, which happened at 7 p.m., and kept the highway closed until 3 a.m., according Shelli Olin, who lives right next to the corner where the wreck occurred.
The victims friends and family gathered at the scene through the weekend, Olin said.
Several friends were there Friday evening.
Shane Helm said that Kuchin was the most original person he has ever known.
Kuchin will be especially missed by his girlfriend of the past year, Kayla Courtney.
Ive known him for five years and weve been dating for one year, said Kayla Courtney, of Stanwood. I love him a lot. He was really funny and outgoing. He had beautiful eyes.
Kuchins passenger was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center and a hospital spokesperson reported he was in satisfactory condition Friday afternoon.
It was amazing to see the helicopter land right there on the road, Olin said.
Kuchin and his passenger were heading east toward a barbecue at a friends house near Darrington when Kuchin crossed the centerline and crashed head-on with a semi-truck full of lumber, according to police.
Olin said it wasnt the crash that was so startling, but all the screeching of tires.
It seemed to go on and on and on, as more and more cars came around the corner from town, Olin said.
The crash took place at the bottom of Trafton Hill, where the Olin family has witnessed three deaths in the past 10 years.
There have been several more farther up, she said.
We were impressed with how the truck driver handled the situation, Olin said. He kept that truck upright and reacted very efficiently, calling for help.
Weve seen a few people die, Olin said. But then there was the car that rolled over three times and the passengers walked away.
She said they watch a lot of drivers take the corner in front of their house going very fast.
We see a lot of people whip around that corner. Its something about the need for speed.
Olin said her husband taught their kids carefully how to enter the highway from their driveway on the bad corner.
Once you go, you go, she said. Theres no pausing to reconsider.
We all have a very healthy respect for this highway.

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