An Eagle Point couple were killed and their two daughters hospitalized Sunday afternoon after a single-vehicle rollover near Winnemucca, Nev., police said.
The 16-year-old driver, who has been identified by family acquaintances as Sydney May, was heading north on State Route 140 when the 2005 Chevy Avalanche apparently drifted into the gravel on the right shoulder. The driver overcorrected, which caused the vehicle to roll several times, Nevada Highway Patrol Sgt. Kirt Beach said.
Beach did not release the driver's name. He said it is against Nevada State Police policy to identify juveniles.
Rebecca May, 46, who was riding in the back seat and reportedly wearing only the lap-belt of her seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle and killed. Kendall May, 49, who was in the front passenger seat, was wearing his full seat belt, but also died, Beach said.
The two teenagers, 19-year-old Melissa May and the 16-year-old driver, sustained injuries and were flown to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Beach said.
The cause of crash still is under investigation, police said.
Beach said there have been many similar accidents in which vehicles drift into the gravel shoulder on the highway, which is a long straight route through the desert. He said the drivers often compound the mistake by swerving back toward the pavement or stepping hard on the brake.
"If this happens, it is best to gradually slow down and ease back onto the road," he said. "Don't slam on the brakes."
Friends and family have created a Facebook page called "In memory of Kendall and Becci May," where friends and relatives have posted pictures and stories about the couple.
Several of the posts refer to Kendall as funny, good-natured and adventurous. One post refers to Rebecca as a "precious angel."
A post on Sydney May's Facebook page Monday read: "It's not easy but I am feeling the love from all of my family, friends, nurses, doctors and even strangers. Thanks for all of the prayers that are helping me and my sisters stay strong.
"I know that my Heavenly Father has a plan for my family and that we will be together again one day."
Katherine Leppek, one of Sydney's former teachers, said the family was extremely close, and the news is devastating.
"My heart goes out to them," she said. "This is a heartbreaking tragedy."
She described her former student as a talented basketball player, excellent student and funny person.
Sydney May was an all-star basketball player for Eagle Point High School last year, earning the league player of the year honors and honorable mention in all-state voting as a sophomore.
Leppek said she had received notice that a funeral service for Kendall and Rebecca May had been scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, July 22, at the Mormon Church's Spanish Fork West Stake Center in Spanish Fork, Utah.
Paul Bell, a family friend, said that the May's oldest daughter, Ryanne, who was not in the vehicle, has asked that the family not be contacted.
Reach Mail Tribune intern Amanda Barker at 541-776-4368 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.