WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Department said a couple was killed when a pickup rolled and hit a tree.
It happened near the intersection of 103rd Street West and 79th Street South around 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
The sheriff’s department said evidence from the scene indicated that the pickup was northbound on 103rd Street West when the driver lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle left the roadway and struck the tree.
The driver, 19-year-old Austin R. Wesson, was pronounced dead at the scene. The passenger, 19-year-old Rebekah C. Bouma, had critical injuries and was transported by EMS to a local hospital where she later died. Bouma and Wesson married on Friday.
KSN reached out to the families of both Wesson and Bouma, and they were not ready to speak out yet, but we did speak with one of Bouma’s high school teachers who said she made a lasting impression.
“Rebecca was in honors English her junior year, and I was her teacher,” said Renee Edwards, Trinity Academy teacher. “I can still remember right where she sat; she made a quick first impression.”
Edwards says no one could have prepared for the tragic loss but hopes the family finds solace in Bouma’s strong faith.
“She was a girl that had it figured out,” said Edwards. “My heart was broken for her family that would miss her should they lose her, but I knew that as far as Becca herself she was prepared for heaven and was living with heaven in sight.”
The couple met doing service work in South Africa, where Wesson lived. Currently, Wesson’s family is trying to make it to Kansas to make final arraignments.
The collision remains under investigation but the family has created a gofundme account for both Wesson and Bouma.
CORRECTION: KSN originally had the victim’s age listed at 30. He is actually 19 according to corrected information from the sheriff’s department.