Classmates remember teen killed in off-road accident at Camp Okihi

BAKERSFIELD - A group of North High School students spent the day raising money for funeral expenses for friend who died in a vehicle accident just before spring break.

"This is so sad, if you were to ask me what I will be doing for my spring break, this is the last thing I would have ever imagined," Katherine Reid, student.

So far the group was raised just under $100 and we'll be giving the money to the victim's family to help cover funeral expenses.

"This is really tragic because nobody wants to do this for a friend that they've known forever," said Liliana Ortiz, student.

Stephen Chambers Taylor was in the bed of a pickup truck that overturned Friday night off of Round Mountain Road.

Five teens, two girls and three boys, were riding in a 2005 Silverado driven by 18-year-old Chase Sons-Thomas at about 6:30 p.m. Friday.

The driver was doing donuts on an off-road dirt area in the Camp Okihi area off of Round Mountain Road, according to Vaughn Cain with the California Highway Patrol.

Chambers and another boy were ejected. Chambers was injured and died at the scene. The driver, Sons-Thomas, sustained moderate injuries and was transported to Kern Medical Center.

The other teens received only minor injuries.

"Everyone needs to be safe, it's spring break, it's really close to graduation and your life is about to begin, so you need to make smart choices," said Cheyenne Reyes, student.

Students are remembering Taylor fondly, but think his choice to get in the back of the pickup truck were made without thinking about consequences and they hope a broader can be learned.

"I just want all of us to be safe, don't go out and do stupid things, don't go out driving recklessly or get in anybody's car when they are drunk," said Ortiz.

Taylor's friends called him Chubb. They say he will greatly be missed and school will never be the same without him.

"He was very funny and outgoing. We met in middle school and since then we were inseparable. Chubb was the class clown and always made us laugh" said Ortiz.


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