Crime - Sacto 911

Two more deaths cause grief at Roseville high schools in unusually difficult year

Oakmont High School in Roseville. Two students with ties to Oakmont and Adelante high schools died in recent days, according to CHP and school district officials. Grief counselors will help students at Oakmont and Adelante on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.
Oakmont High School in Roseville. Two students with ties to Oakmont and Adelante high schools died in recent days, according to CHP and school district officials. Grief counselors will help students at Oakmont and Adelante on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.

High school students in Roseville are grieving after two deaths in recent days, according to CHP and school district officials, and grief counselors will visit Oakmont High School again Wednesday in an unusually trying year in which two students died last fall.

Nicholas James Doepken, 18, died in a Sunday-night car accident less than a month after graduating from Adelante High School.

Doepken, a Roseville resident, attended Oakmont before transferring to Adelante, according to the Roseville Joint Union High School District. Another student with ties to Oakmont died by apparent suicide, according to a statement on the deaths shared Tuesday by school district officials on Twitter.

That statement directed at students called them “integral parts of both the Oakmont and Adelante communities.”

Doepken and two passengers were in his recently purchased 2005 Jeep Wrangler when it went off an embankment along a narrow stretch of rural Yankee Jims Road in Placer County at about 6:40 p.m. Sunday, according to Chris Husse, investigating officer for the California Highway Patrol. No other vehicle was involved.

The two other teenagers, ages 17 and 16, suffered minor injuries and were treated at a local hospital and released, according to Shannon Blockton, spokeswoman for the Roseville high school district.

The investigation is in its preliminary phase, Husse said. “We are looking at evidence and determining whether this was a DUI-related case,” he said.

The Roseville high school district is making its Crisis Response Team available to students and has contacted the families involved, Blockton said. The school district will open “grief rooms” at both Adelante and Oakmont high schools between 9 a.m. and noon Wednesday so that students can speak to counselors.

The district also sent a letter to parents offering information about suicide and a hotline number.

In October, two Oakmont students died a day apart. That prompted counselors, chaplains and other professionals to help students work through their grief in the fall.

Diana Lambert: 916-321-1090, @dianalambert

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