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Exeter family loses two children in less than a year

Teen dies in crash after sister killed in March             Staff writer

An Exeter teenager whose sister was killed by a drunken driver nine months ago was killed Friday in a single-car accident in Three Rivers.

Kyle Goodwin, 16, died after his 1999 Volvo S-80 rolled down an embankment at a curve on the rain-soaked Mineral King Road just before the intersection with Highway 198. The crash occurred at 4:10 a.m. Friday.

The teen, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected and died at the scene, according to a California Highway Patrol report.

His 16-year-old male passenger, whose name was not released by the CHP, was not injured. He was wearing his seat belt.

"That is why I want to remind everyone of the extreme life or death importance of wearing seat belts," CHP Officer Scott Jobinger said. Photo
Johanna Vossler/Staff photographer

Lynne Goodwin, right, gets a hug from friend Cheryl Hand on Friday as friends and family visited the Goodwin home to remember Goodwin's son Kyle, who was killed early Friday when his car went off the road. The Goodwins' daughter Casey was killed by a drunken driver in March 2003.

Goodwin was driving on a provisional license, which he had for six months, CHP Officer David Gosvener said.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles Web site, California teens driving with a provisional license must drive with a parent or someone older than 25 years old for the first six months if they drive between midnight and 5 a.m. or if they transport people younger than 20.

Friends and family grieve

The news shocked a family who was still grieving the loss of Casey Goodwin, 20. She was killed March 13, 2003, in a Kettleman City crash caused by a drunken driver.

"This is too much, they just got through their first Christmas without Casey," said Elizabeth LaMar, a close family friend.

Lynne Goodwin, Kyle's mother, works for the Tulare County Friday Night Live organization, a youth program that encourages teens not to drink and drive.

Casey Goodwin was also active with the organization, andPhoto served as in intern with the statewide organization. Kyle Goodwin was active in the program, too. Family members did not comment when asked why Goodwin was out driving so early in the morning.
Ron Holman/Staff photographer 

The teen was acPhototive on the Exeter Union High School water polo team, was a strong swimmer and loved computers. He was also known for his fashion sense and love of music.

"He was just a sweet, sweet boy," said Myra Crookshanks, a friend of the family.

A sad Christmas

Friday, friends and family gathered in the Goodwins' home, where a stocking hung on the Christmas tree with "Casey" stitched across it.

A shadow box in memory of Casey hung on the wall with pictures locked inside.

For the crash that killed Casey Goodwin, Fernando Ochoa, 18, was sentenced in April 2003 to 10 years in state prison for vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated.

The family is pushing for the passage of Casey's Law, Assembly Bill 216, a proposal that would place a fee on alcohol wholesalers for the profits they make from underage drinkers.

The bill is expected to go through the committee process this year.

Now the Goodwin family has to deal with the loss of another child.

"Damn it," Lynne Goodwin said. "He was just a baby."    


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