An accident on a winding mountain road killed
one teenager early Friday morning and has an
Exeter family struggling to come to terms with
the loss of a second child in less than a year.
Kyle Goodwin, 16, of Exeter died early Friday
when the car he was driving rolled down an
embankment and overturned near Three Rivers.
The crash happened shortly after 4 a.m. on
Mineral King Road east of Sierra King Drive,
between Three Rivers and the south entrance to
Sequoia National Park. According to the
California Highway Patrol, Kyle was heading west
on the winding mountain road and failed to make
a curve. The 1999 Volvo he was driving went off
the road and over a cliff.
Kyle, who CHP officers said was not wearing a
seat belt, was partially ejected from the car as
it overturned before it rolled over him.
Officers said the accident is a reminder "of the
extreme life-and-death importance of wearing
seat belts." A passenger in the car, a
16-year-old boy from Visalia who was wearing a
seat belt, was unhurt. Authorities did not
release his name.
Kyle Goodwin was the
younger brother of Casey Goodwin, a popular
Exeter High School graduate who was killed by a
drunken driver on March 12, 2003, near Kettleman
City. That crash happened as she was driving
home from college in San Luis Obispo to
celebrate her mother's birthday.
"Everyone here is just
in shock," said Mary Anne Baker of Porterville,
Kyle's maternal grandmother. "This is the second
death we're dealing with."
Baker said Kyle, like
his older sister, attended Exeter High and was
popular with other students. A junior, he worked
with Friday Night Live, a student organization
that works to discourage drinking and driving --
a cause in which Casey was also active.
"He played water polo
and was interested in computers," Baker said.
"He was so outgoing and had so many friends.