SUV plows into high school students, killing 2, seriously injuring 2; driver arrested

FERNDALE, Wash. -- Two high school students were killed and two others seriously injured when they were hit from behind by a black SUV while walking on a sidewalk with their class Wednesday.

Washington State Patrol trooper Mark Francis tweeted about the crash at 1:45 p.m.

Francis said the students from Ferndale's Windward High School were out walking with their class as part of a school physical education exercise Wednesday afternoon when the SUV left the road, jumped the curb and hit them from behind on the sidewalk.

From WSP

An 18-year-old, Shane Ormiston, and a 15-year-old, Gabriel Anderson, both of Ferndale, were killed.

Two other boys, Michael Brewster and Kole Randle, both 17, were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital where they were listed in serious condition with broken legs. Kole also had a possible concussion.

Francis said the 34-year-old driver, William Klein, of Bellingham, told investigators that he had returned from work and had fallen asleep at the wheel.

Francis later said Klein had been arrested on two counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault. He said a State Patrol drug recognition expert saw signs of possible impairment. The driver's blood was drawn for testing.

The trooper said they believe the teens were walking on the sidewalk at the time of the crash.

The Ferndale School District sent out the following statement after news of the crash broke:

Accident near Windward High

This afternoon, at approximately 1:40 p.m., there was a fatality accident near Windward High School. All school district resources have been dispatched to Windward. The scene is being controlled and investigated by law enforcement. Law enforcement has indicated that two students died at the scene. No names have been released.

Ferndale Schools is keeping all Windward students at Windward High School. Ferndale School District will transport students home later on an additional bus run.

A community gathering was going to beheld at Good News Fellowship Church in Ferndale at 6:30 p.m.

And the city of Ferndale issued a statement that said, in part, "There are simply no words to soothe the pain of this loss. Ferndale is hurting and we mourn together, as a community."