‘Our hearts are broken’; teenage driver in Thursday’s car accident identified, his family’s message to the community

Kellen Erickson, Ferris High School '19, died Thursday in a car accident

SPOKANE, Wash. — A community is in mourning, following a car crash in south Spokane County that cost a young man his life Thursday. The driver was pulled out of his car by two good Samaritans after it burst into flames, but he did not survive. 4 News Now has learned who that young driver was.

The driver’s name is Kellen Erickson. a 2019 Ferris High School graduate, where he played basketball.

“Our family is devastated by the loss of Kellen. Our hearts are broken. He was kind to all and he was a gift to all that walked through his life,” his family said in a statement released to 4 News Now.

Erickson was killed after his car crashed into a tree Thursday and caught fire, according to Spokane County Fire District 8. It happened near S. Freya Road and S. Baltimore Road, south of Palouse Highway.

The roads were wet during that time, and the fire district said he was speeding before hitting that tree. A UPS driver and another person passing by helped pull him from the wreckage, but he had already died.

“They attempted life saving efforts. However, unfortunately after conformation from our paramedics, the victim was deceased,” said Tony Nielsen, fire chief for Spokane Fire District 8.

The school district says because of Erickson’s death, it is cancelling Friday’s Ferris High School boys and girls basketball games against Mount Spokane High School.

Grief counselors will also be available throughout the school day to both students and staff.

There are many areas of wet and icy roads all over Spokane and Kootenai counties because of recent rainfall. Erickson’s crash comes with a warning for the community. Before you head off on your commute, slow down and leave space. Your tires work harder when water is on the roads. Try to avoid slamming on the brakes and trying to turn quickly.

The investigation into Erickson’s car crash is ongoing. 4 News Now will continue to follow this story, check back for updates.