Teens in Bandon who attended school and played sports with a former student are mourning her loss after learning the 19-year-old died from injuries sustained in a car accident Thanksgiving eve.
Kiana Rechberg, a Southern Oregon University freshman, graduated with honors from Cascade Christian High School in Medford in June, but attended South Coast schools for a few years while in middle school.
According to a California Highway Patrol accident report, Rechberg was driving south, toward Crescent City, in a 2004 Mini Cooper on Nov. 23 on U.S. Highway 199 south of Oregon Mountain Road when at approximately 6:27 p.m. she lost control of her vehicle and traveled into the path of a 2001 Saturn, driven by Vincent Becker, 22, of Cave Junction.
The report said the front of the Saturn collided with the right side of the Mini Cooper and Rechberg sustained fatal injuries.
Becker sustained a broken foot and bruised ribs and two other passengers, Anthony Becker and Augustine Duarte, both 18 and also from Cave Junction, received non-life threatening injuries.
It is not known why Rechberg lost control of her vehicle, but the weather conditions at the time were cold and raining.
The accident is under investigation.
Rechberg still had ties to Bandon and Gold Beach, where she also attended school and where her boyfriend lives, and has several close friends in the area.
Prior to moving to the Medford area, her parents, Mark and Jackie, owned the Arizona Beach RV Park between Port Orford and Gold Beach on U.S. Highway 101 and younger brother and sister, Kallen and Koral, attended Bandon schools. The Rechbergs still own a home in Port Orford.
Rechberg was active in sports and church, both in Bandon and at Cascade Christian, and is remembered as a beautiful, kind, creative and loving girl who wanted to be a kindergarten teacher.
She and her family are members of Applegate Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville.
'Kiana was a wonderful young lady with a great laugh," said Bandon resident Ernie Garrett, whose daughter Grace was one of Kiana's best friends.
'The Garrett family feels fortunate to have gotten to know her and we will miss her, as will her many friends and her wonderful family."
A memorial service will be held at noon Saturday at Applegate Christian Fellowship, 7590 Highway 238, Jacksonville.