Castle Rock crash kills one teen sister, leaves other seriously injured

Castle Rock crash kills one teen sister, leaves other seriously injured »Play Video
Courtney (left) and Harlie Desarmo

CASTLE ROCK, Wash. -- One teen girl was killed and another girl was seriously injured Monday night after being hit by a vehicle just south of Castle Rock.

The girls were walking along Bond Road at about 9:20 p.m. when a vehicle driven by Levi Laney, 22, of Castle Rock struck them, according to the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office.

Fifteen-year-old Harlie Desarmo died at the scene. Her sister, Courtney L. Desarmo, 18, was taken to St John Hospital. Both girls live in the Castle Rock area and they go to Castle Rock High School.
 
Courtney graduated last year and Harlie, an honor student, was set to be a sophomore.

Deputies would not release information about Courtney's condition.

Laney, who also went to Castle Rock High School, told deputies he was northbound on the road and did not see the girls in time to avoid hitting them.

Investigators said there are no signs of drugs, alcohol or speeding as factors in the crash.

Harlie and Courtney were fairly new to town. They'd only been at the high school for one year. But they'd already made a big impression on their teachers and other kids.

"She (Harlie) was elected to be class president this coming school year," said Linda Solberg, a teacher. "Even though Courtney and Harlie were new to the district, they were so likable, you just felt like they had always been here."

Clayton Crayne, friends with both girls, expects emotions to be running higher than usual when kids come back to class.

"I don't know what's going to happen at the start of the school year, but I know that'll be one of the main things everybody will be talking about," the high school senior said.

With Harlie gone, there is now an empty spot on the roster of three of the school's sports teams.

"It's definitely hard on a team," said Crayne. "With me, in wrestling, everyone's real close, they make sure everyone's OK."

"These two young ladies were able to kind of roll with the punches and grasp life in its fullest, and make the most of every day," said Solberg.

The school district is making counselors available and St. Paul's Lutheran Church is organizing a service, an Evening of Sharing, Wednesday at 7 p.m.

It's at the high school, and everyone is welcome.