Community mourns loss of local teen in I-5 crossing accident

By Merrilee Bark

Friday night is typically an evening where students are out with one another having fun.

However, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017, turned into a tragic evening for the Toledo community with the loss of 16-year-old Lukah Herren, who was struck and killed by a vehicle while attempting to cross Interstate 5 near Chehalis to join her friends. Lukah was struck by a 19-year-old driver from Longview, whose life was also forever changed that evening.

Asked what Lukah was like, a close friend who wished to remain anonymous said, "Lukah was like a sister to me. She always cared about others over herself. If I was upset, she'd do everything just to make me smile."

"She was courageous," Lukah's friend continued. "She believed there was nothing she couldn't do. She had a great sense of humor. She always knew never to take me seriously ... We would tease each other, just like sisters would."

Trishanna Jones added, "The Lukah I knew was a kind, misunderstood, active, and free spirited young lady. She was genuine and defensive of her family and friends. She didn't appear to have a problem fighting for what she believed in. I remember her having an electric style. She was quirky and funny in a good way."

The driver was unable to avoid the collision and will not face any charges, according to the State Patrol.