By Reggie Ellis
A family still coping with the tragic death of their daughter will now have to bury their son.
Kyle Goodwin, 16, died after being partially ejected from his car at about 4:10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 2. According to the California Highway Patrol, Goodwin lost control of his 1999 Volvo S-80 while traveling too fast around a curve. Recent rains had made Mineral King Road slick near Three Rivers. The car went off the road and rolled down an embankment killing Goodwin.
Goodwin was not wearing his seatbelt and CHP officials are still investigating whether or not alcohol was involved. The CHP did not release the name of Goodwin's passenger, a 16-year-old male from Visalia. He was wearing his seatbelt and was not injured.
Goodwin was driving on a provisional license. The Department of Motor Vehicles requires that anyone with a provisional license must be accompanied by someone 25 years or older for the first six months if they drive between midnight and 5 a.m. or if they are transporting someone under the age of 20. There has been no comment about why Kyle was driving so late at night.
The accident comes a little more than nine months after Kyle's older sister, Casey, was killed by a drunk driver near Kettleman City. Casey, 20, was driving home from college in San Luis Obispo for her mother's birthday on March 12. At about 6:30 p.m. The other driver, who was late to work and had been drinking, was traveling 90 mph on Highway 41 when he swerved into the opposite lane hitting Goodwin's car head on. The cruel irony was that Goodwin was actively involved in drug and alcohol prevention activities both at EUHS and at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Her mother, Lynn, is an alcohol prevention specialist with Tulare County.
In April, a Hanford judge sentenced the driver -- Fernando Ochoa, 18, of Kettleman City -- to the maximum of 10 years in prison for gross vehicular manslaughter in the collision that killed Casey. In honor of Casey, a former EUHS waterpolo player, her family organized the first Casey LeeAnne Goodwin Memorial Waterpolo Tournament on Sept. 13 at the Exeter Union High School pool.
The family said Kyle, and all of the surviving children, "ached relentlessly over the loss of Casey." In his obituary the family says, "We can only survive losing Kyle because we know that Casey is holding him now, as she did in life."
Kyle is survived by his parents; a sister, Kellie; a brother, Christopher; grandparents, Frank and Louise Viola, Dianna Thornsbrough, Anne and John Baker, Reed and Doreen Goodwin.
Kyle was a sophomore at EUHS where he lettered in waterpolo and swimming. He was involved with the California Youth Council and worked with California Friday Night Live partnership with the Tulare County Office of Education.
A Celebration of Life funeral services for Kyle was held yesterday at the First Assembly Church in Visalia. Remembrances may be made to the Kyle Goodwin Memorial Fund P.O. Box 601 Exeter, CA 93221. On-line condolences may be made at www.caseygoodwin.org.