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West High campus mourns cheerleader's death
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Updated: 2:22 PM- Students at West High are mourning cheerleader Alyssa Lopez, killed Tuesday in a traffic crash while she was on her way home after a basketball game at Weber State in Ogden.

Lopez, 17, of Salt Lake City, was a passenger in a vehicle heading south on Harrison Boulevard around 2:15 p.m. after a high school basketball game at the state tournament in Ogden, said Ogden police Lt. David Tarran.

A driver in one car saw Lopez -- his girlfriend -- in the front passenger seat of another car driven by the teenager's ex-boyfriend, police said.

The boyfriend tried to catch up with the car his girlfriend was in but when he neared another vehicle in front of him, he had to apply the brakes, Tarran said. His car clipped the rear corner of the car his girlfriend was in, sending it spinning into oncoming traffic, he said.

An oncoming car hit the passenger side, killing Lopez. The driver and a rear passenger were taken to McKay-Dee Regional Medical Center in serious condition, Tarran said. The 23-year-old driver of the oncoming car was taken to Ogden Regional Hospital. His condition was not known.

There were five people in the pursuing car; none was injured, Tarran said.

News of Lopez's accident reverberated through West High in Salt Lake City today, where Lopez was known as a friendly student and member of the cheerleading squad.

Grief counselors were provided for students at West High and Granger High in West Valley City, where some of the other students involved in the accident are enrolled.

"Everyone is talking about it all around the school, about how nice of a girl she was," said Karl Kanenske, who was an acquaintance of Lopez. He said one of his friends, a member of the school's baseball team, was one of the passengers in the vehicle with Lopez during the accident.

He said his friend is still in the hospital, but declined to disclosed his name because the school asked West High not to speak about the incident.

Ogden police have yet to release the other two students injured in the crash, but Jason Olsen, a Salt Lake School District spokesman, confirmed that Isaiah Christy, 17, and Dylan Raso, 16, were in the crash that killed Lopez.

Christy is a member of the Panther's basketball team and Raso a member of the school's baseball team.

"We know she's going to be missed," said Kanenske,17, of Lopez.

Another student at West High, 14-year-old Amber Webb, summed up the environment at school today with one word.

"Drama," she said. "It feels like an aura of sadness...It's a sad loss."

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