‘He made others happy’: Spokane mourns the loss of young Ferris grad

SPOKANE, Wash — The Spokane community is mourning the loss of a Ferris High School graduate.

Nineteen-year-old Kellen Erickson’s car burst into flames when he crashed into a tree on S. Freya and Baltimore Thursday afternoon.

The roads were wet and Spokane County Fire District 8 said he was speeding before he hit the tree.

Two good Samaritans pulled Kellen out of the burning car and tried to save his life, but it was too late.

“Our family is devastated by the loss of Kellen,” his family said in a statement. “Our hearts are broken. He was kind to all and he was a gift to all that walked through his life.”

Many people say Kellen was just like the rest of his family; fun, outgoing, and someone you just loved to be around.

“Everybody he was around, he made them happy,” Ferris High School principal Ken Schutz said. “He was just well-known, very popular, easy going, but just pleasure to be around type of kid.”

Schutz said Kellen always made his presence felt with his outgoing personality and talent on the basketball court.

He was a starter for Ferris before graduating in 2019. Kellen was taking the year off from college, figuring out what he wanted to do in life.

A life that ended far too soon.

“We have a lot of kids hurting. He was well-loved,” Schutz said.

Kellen also worked at the Rosauer’s on the South Hill.

The company’s president sent 4 News Now a statement, saying in part, “Kellen was a great young man with so much promise.”

That shouldn’t come as a surprise if you know Kellen’s family.

A family that many people in Spokane see as a backbone of the community. In fact, that’s just one way Vince Grippi described the Erickson’s in his column for the Spokesman-Review.

He said the Ericksons are the type of people who are so common in Spokane, yet extraordinary at the same time. Grippi coaches Kellen’s sister on the girls basketball team at Ferris.