Vigil in Silverton honors teacher, student killed in car crash - KPTV - FOX 12

Vigil in Silverton honors teacher, student killed in car crash

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People holding candles at a vigil Monday to honor Doug Bonham and Matthew Albrecht. People holding candles at a vigil Monday to honor Doug Bonham and Matthew Albrecht.
SILVERTON, OR (KPTV) -

Friends and family members came together for a vigil Monday night, to honor well-known teacher Doug Bonham and Silverton High School junior Matthew Albrecht, who were both killed in a car crash near Mollala Friday night.

“My brother was my best friend, the other half of my heart,” Bonham’s sister Michelle Drake said. “To come here and see how many people loved him like we do – he loved them all back, too, it’s really special.”

People lit candles and held two moments of silence at the Bethany Charter School, where Bonham taught and where Albrecht was once a student.

Family members say Bonham had been a mentor to Albrecht for years.  They two played basketball Friday night and Bonham was driving Albrecht home, when they were both killed in a single-car crash.

“It’s really sad, today was horrible at school,” said Silverton High School student Jenna Slater.  “I’m here because I want to support to community and show Matthew how much he was loved, and we’re going to remember him and it’s going to be hard, but we’re going to get through it.”

Friends say Albrecht, 16, played football and wrestled, he loved the Seahawks, wanted to serve his country and always had a smile on his face.

“He was a very special guy to me, he was always funny, had a positive attitude, always made people laugh,” said Silverton High School student Jennifer Fragoso. “He was loved by everyone.”

Family members say Bonham, 30, loved being a teacher, treasured his wife and two young kids, and would go out of the way to help anyone.

“Tonight you can see that he touched lives,” Bonham’s mother, Nancy Cuellar, said.  “He still had plans for the rest of his life. He wanted to raise his children and teach them about God and faith and how to care for other people.”

“Mr. Bonham was just a really great teacher – but he also seemed more than a teacher, he seemed to be a really good friend, cared about everyone around him,” said Ethan Hartman, who had Bonham as a former teacher and basketball coach.

At Monday’s vigil, people also sang Amazing Grace and shouted out words to describe Bonham and Albrecht.

Bonham’s best friend, Kori Bolf, said she’s been with Bonham’s wife since she learned the news Friday.

“I was with her when we let the children know, and you just love on them,” she said, describing Bonham as an advocate for peace.  “I think that’s just what he was about, and people knew that and they gravitated toward that.”

Funeral plans for Matthew Albrecht have not been announced publicly at this time.

A service for Doug Bonham will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Dayspring Fellowship in Keizer.  The public is welcome to attend. A donation account for Bonham’s family has been established here: www.gofundme.com/37sx5gck

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