Bear River grad killed in Highway 49 crash remembered as ‘a delight’ |

Bear River grad killed in Highway 49 crash remembered as ‘a delight’

Bear River High School might be closed — but Principal Chris Roberts said grief counseling is available to students or family coping with the death of 2019 graduate Alyssa Scheda.

Scheda, 18, was killed in a collision Saturday after her vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic on Highway 49, authorities said.

“We have resources available,” Roberts said, adding the school’s counselors are reachable by email — Cindy Henry-Grimm at or Mary Buhr at Roberts is also available: croberts@

“Alyssa had a contagious passion for life,” said teacher Matt MacDonald, who had Scheda in his Government and Economics class last year. “She was polite, respectful, and well-admired by her peers. In class, Alyssa loved to ask questions. She was a person of great conviction and always stood up for what she felt was right. We are all devastated by her loss.”

Sara Noah had Scheda in her senior English class last year, calling her “a hardworking, positive young lady who was a delight to have in class.”

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Both Noah and Roberts noted that this year’s senior class started their time at the high school with two similar deaths — that of Jude Douden and Joseph Rantz, who were killed in a crash in December 2016. Nevada Union students suffered a devastating loss in March 2018 when a drunken driver killed Justin Gardner and Tyler Nielson.

Scheda was driving a Honda Civic southbound on Highway 49 around 2:45 p.m. Saturday when she moved into the northbound lanes near Lone Star Road and collided head-on with a Mini Cooper being driven by Madison Preston, 23, of Grass Valley. Scheda also hit a box truck being driven by Martin Ortiz, 52, of Citrus Heights, said California Highway Patrol Officer David Martinez.

Preston was taken to a Roseville hospital with serious injuries and Ortiz was uninjured, Martinez said.

The collision remains under investigation, but alcohol or drugs are not believed to be a factor, he said.

“We are so saddened by this tragedy,” Noah said. “We will miss her terribly.”

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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